Football’s Rough Side in Spotlight


Football is a beautiful sport, filled with pride, courage and trial. Athletes work their whole life to be the greatest. But no one talks about the negative side of the sport, injuries. With the horrific injury of safety, Damar Hamlin, sports fans around the world have been subject to the tragedies of football. 

Minor or life-threatening injuries get overlooked all the time. The NFL has tried to reduce the number of injuries, but it’s almost impossible. The reason why is because of the variety of injuries that can occur. This NFL season has been riddled with injuries. 

As of week 18, the NFL has had a total of 180 injuries or limited practice. With the playoffs close, and the Super Bowl even closer, health is an NFL team’s main priority. With some teams, their playoff hopes were destroyed because of injuries.

One of these teams was the Arizona Cardinals. During Monday night football, week 12 on the third play of the game, quarterback Kyler Murray was escaping the pass rush when he went for a slide and didn’t get back up. Murray was sidelined with an ACL tear, tearing apart the Cardinal’s playoff hopes. This was a non-contact injury. Most cases of non-contact injuries are because of the player landing wrong or most probable, the field. Numerous NFL players have suffered the same injury Murray has. But why are NFL turfs so bad?

All stadiums have a concrete platform and when a player makes a wrong step or move, the turf will slip causing the player to fall awkwardly. Many NFL players, like Super Bowl MVP wide receiver Cooper Kupp are advocates of grass fields. There aren’t any significant benefits to grass fields but with the many players getting injured on the turf, it wouldn’t hurt to try.

One of the most overlooked injuries in the NFL is the concussion. Unfortunately, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, brought light to the issue. In week two of the NFL, the Miami Dolphins hosted the Buffalo Bills. Late in the second quarter, Tagovaila delivered a costly throw to wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. Tagovaila hit the turf head-first and suffered a concussion. As Tagovaila got up he stumbled onto the floor causing him to be taken out of the game. There is controversy around this play because the officials did not stop play or even notice he was hurt. 

Tagovaila was in conclusion protocol two weeks before playing the Bengals in his next game, where he suffered his second concussion. This caused a huge investigation on the Miami Dolphins medical staff. The NFL fired the doctor, an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who they said made “several mistakes” with Tagovailoa evaluations. 

With countless amount of injuries occurring around the league, the NFL has come up with many ways to reduce the number of injuries given. One of the most common injuries among quarterbacks is concussions. 

One way the league has tried to prevent this is being extremely strict on roughing the passer calls. This penalty occurs after the quarterback has thrown the ball, and they are hit in some sort of way. This has made many defensive players upset because they felt like it’s impossible to make a play on the quarterback. 

Another way the NFL has tried to reduce injuries is by using a guardian cap in practice. A guardian cap goes on top of the player’s helmet to prevent concussions or any head damage. They have soft shells and are padded along the helmet. This isn’t the only way the NFL has tried to prevent injury, one of the newest pieces of technology is the Q-Coller. A Q-Coller applies compression and force to the neck, which increases blood volume and helps reduce brain movement during contact hits.  

There have been many changes in trying to reduce the number of injuries in the NFL. Unfortunately, the game is naturally violent and not all injuries can be accounted for.