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November 2017
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2017 Health and Safety Report released by the NFL


Sixth Annual Report Outlines Progress of the NFL’s

Health and Safety Efforts and Play Smart. Play Safe. Initiative ​

NEW YORK, NY—Oct. 31, 2017—The National Football League (NFL) today released the 2017 Health and Safety Report, which highlights progress under the Play Smart. Play Safe. initiative, as well as other NFL player health and safety efforts. The digital report—featuring a wide variety of interactive content—can be found here: https://annualreport.playsmartplaysafe.com/.

“Outlined in this year’s report is a demonstration of our ongoing efforts to both learn and do more,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a letter introducing the 2017 NFL Health and Safety Report. “We will continue to seek solutions to ensure our entire football family and all those who love to play the game are provided with the best information, tools and support to protect their health and well-being.”

 

In September 2016, Commissioner Goodell announced the launch of Play Smart. Play Safe.—a League-wide health and safety initiative—to drive progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of head injuries, enhance medical protocols and procedures, and further improve the way the game is taught and played at all levels. Of the $100 million Play Smart. Play Safe. commitment, the League pledged $60 million to the Engineering Roadmap—an effort to improve the understanding of the biomechanics of head injuries in professional football and to create incentives for small businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and helmet manufacturers to develop new protective equipment—with $40 million of the total funding commitment allocated for medical research, primarily dedicated to neuroscience.

 

“The NFL has the unique opportunity to be a leader in health and safety and as we make advances they will be shared with our players, the broader sports community, the medical world and the public at large,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer. “The League has made great strides in this effort so far, and it is my job to explore where and how we can continue to improve. I look forward to the progress that’s to come.”

 

Since 2012, the NFL has released an annual report highlighting the League’s ongoing commitment to health and safety, including its collaborative work with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) to improve protections for players. The NFL’s sixth annual report highlights key updates on the league’s efforts, including:

  • Implementing five additional rules changes intended to reduce the risk of injuries, especially to the head and neck—totaling 47 health and safety-related rules changes since 2002;
  • Updating the NFL Concussion Diagnosis and Management Protocol to reflect the 2017 Berlin Conference on Concussion in Sport;
  • Continuing to transform game day sidelines to ensure they are equipped with the best tools, technology and experts to care for NFL players—including new sideline medical examination tents to immediately evaluate players in private following an injury;
  • Launching a pilot program to increase access to athletic trainers by providing funding to public high schools with football programs that have limited or no access to an athletic trainer;
  • Awarding more than $600,000 to five winners to support product development for innovative protective equipment concepts as part of the HeadHealthTECH Challenge series—part of the Engineering Roadmap;
  • Announcing Dynamic Research Incorporated as the grand prize winner of Head Health Challenge III for the creation of a new material system for protective gear for athletes, first responders, military personnel, and others who face potential impact injuries; and,
  • Launching a funding opportunity—led by the Scientific Advisory Board—for innovative translational research on concussion and comorbid conditions.

 

For more information on these efforts and more, visit playsmartplaysafe.com.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com