Technology used to detect concussions

The NFL has a concussion and head injury issue. Many former players are suing them for not dealing with the risks and treatments when they were players.

What is the issue

It comes down to three things:

Prevention – Did the NFL do as much as they could to prevent concussions?

Treatment – Did the NFL standardize a treatment protocol?

Communication – Did the NFL know what was happening and communicate to the players?

How can technology prevent concussions

The US Army has been using an electronic sensor mounted in helmets for 5 years or so. Called theĀ Headborne Energy Analysis and Diagnostic Systems it determines the force of an impact and wirelessly transmits a warning. Newer models allow for data to be gathered over time and downloaded so medical professionals can determine issues.

Why do football players get out of shape – Jonathan Dwyer

Jonathan Dwyer was one of those college players that was slotted to go high in the draft, but fell a few rounds. By a few I mean five.

When he was drafted many fans were excited for the Steelers:

As far as I am concerned this guy could be a steal in this draft. He is big and decently fast and is a North/South runner who could be Steelers Goalline back from day 1.. I am a Tar-Heels college football fan and I am glad to see this guy gone from GA Tech. He is or was a Beast to all ACC teams. I heard a interview with him on Sirius Radio this past week and he seems like a very hard working kid that Gil Brandt absolutely loves . . and that’s pretty good from a guy like Brandt to like ya.

What is back stabilization surgery and rehab Johnny Knox

Johnny Knox is a wide receiver for the Chicago Bears. His career is off to a good start, but he suffered a horrific injury last year. Playing against the Seattle Seahawks he was bent backwards.


It is amazing he’s still alive and can walk. Word comes that he will play in the 2012 season after vertebrae stabilization surgery. For reference, here is the video of his injury:

The news report quotes him as saying:

No, for me I’m just taking it day by day. No rush. Like I’ve said, rehab is going well. I’m not trying to rush things and mess things up any worse, so I’m just taking it day by day.

Gun shots, football and recovery – Brandon Wimberly

Brandon Wimberly is a wide receiver for the Nevada Wolfpack. He was involved in an altercation that led to gun violence and he ended up wounded in the abdomen.

This week it was reported that his football career is probably over.

His coach, Chris Ault, said:

We’re with you. Let’s get you healthy. Our entire concern right now is his health. This is a serious, serious injury.

Gunshot wounds are insidious for the following reasons:

1) They cause massive internal trauma.

2) Bullets can fracture bones causing even further damage.

3) Sometimes they lead to infection.

Can you bounce back and play football after a gunshot wound? Sure, but like with all injuries, it depends. In the case of Wimberly he was shot in the abdomen and his coach said:

How long to recover from a broken tibia – Jim Leonhard

how-long-to-recover-from-a-broken-tibia-jim-leonhard-photoJim Leonhard is one lucky football player. The New York Jets’ defensive back suffered a broken tibia last year. His treatment was full surgery with a metal rod inserted into his leg. The injury occurred in December of 2010 and he was cleared to resume football in June 2011. He broke his tibia, one of the two lower leg bones, had surgery and is playing football at full speed less than six months later.

How did this occur? Well, Leonhard is very excited to be back at full strength:

What will the NFL injury rate be this season?

what-will-the-nfl-injury-rate-be-this-season-photoThe NFL lockout is threatening more than just 2011 season games, it is also threatening player’s health. That is the gist of an article titled, “Expect injury totals to rise following lockout.” It is an interesting premise, but the article has a few salacious and sensationalistic quotes.

Let’s start with the first one that examines an out of shape lineman coming to a trainer looking for a quick fix to his weight gain. Evidently his weight jumped from 330 to 400. Here is what Travelle Gaines the trainer, said:

You just know what’s going to happen to guys like that. They have to lose weight fast, so they’re going to do something drastic and dangerous, maybe even something illegal.

Why does it seem football players die young – Godfrey Myles

why-does-it-seem-football-players-die-young-godfrey-myles-photoGodfrey Myles, a former linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys during their great super bowl run, died at 42. He suffered a heart attack and stroke that led to his death. Godfrey spent only six years in the NFL until moving into the business world.

Whenever this happens the inevitable question comes up, “Why do football players die young?”

The answer is that they don’t die young when looked at the population in general. Godfrey was 42 years of age and statistically his death isn’t outside the norm as heart disease is the number one cause of death for males 35-44.

Still, there have been a number of statistical studies done on former NFL players and mortality. There are two of note:

How to pass a medical clearance – Kamau Peterson

how-to-pass-a-medical-clearance-kamau-peterson-photoKamau Peterson is a wide receiver for the BC Lions, well might be a wide receiver for them. His career with the Edmonton Eskimos over, he signed on with the Lions, but he has to achieve medical clearance.

This step is due to the fact that he suffered from an achilles injury that caused him to miss 11 weeks.

All professional leagues have procedures they go through when a player joins the team. The medical clearance process ensures the following:

  • The athlete is in good health.
  • Fitness levels are within expectations.
  • Specific concerns are reviewed.
  • Previous injuries have healed.

In Peterson’s case the Lions will be looking at his prior achilles injury and also his fitness level due to his time away from the game.

Dancing and football with thumb ligament damage – Hines Ward

dancing-and-football-with-thumb-ligament-damage-hines-ward-photoYes, you can play football and dance with damage to your thumb ligament. Hines Ward is a professional football player and the latest winner of Dancing with the Stars and he has done both with thumb ligament damage.

The time to pay the price is now, as it was announced he will undergo surgery for the ligament damage.

I find this fascinating on so many levels.

  1. Ward chose to participate in a TV show instead of having the surgery earlier.
  2. I don’t think it is out of the question to consider whether the dancing caused the thumb damage.
  3. In the attached picture it looks like his thumbs are working fine.
  4. With the lockout continuing does team management have to sign off on the surgery or not.

How to treat a whiny cry baby – Donovan McNabb

how-to-treat-a-whiny-cry-baby-donovan-mcnabb-photoDonovan McNabb is at the end of a long, distinguished career. He’s always been thought of as a teammate, solid guy, but there is a news report that casts a McNabb is a new light and it isn’t flattering. In fact, it makes McNabb come off as a whiny cry baby.

Everyone knows there is no love between Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan. On the one side you have McNabb, the veteran quarterback that always seems to come up short. On the other side you have Mike Shanahan, a guaranteed hall of fame coach. Still, the last season meltdown at the end of the year was confusing. You have two professionals obviously not getting along.

The reason came out today. McNabb refused to wear a wrist band with the plays on it.