The NFL is not doing enough to protect their players


Luis Rodriguez

Football is a sport that a lot of people love to watch and play but it is a big risk to put on that helmet.

Luis Rodriguez, Digital Staff

The NFL had another very brutal injury. Damar Hamlin is a professional football player, who is the starting safety for the Buffalo Bills. In a game versus the Cincinnati Bengals he took a hard hit to the chest after trying to make a tackle on a Bengals player, which caused him to collapse and go into cardiac arrest. After the injury both teams were sent back to the locker rooms in complete shock, and the NFL went on to cancel the game.

Football is a sport that a lot of people love to watch and play but it is a big risk to put on that helmet. Over the years the NFL has added more and more rules to try and keep players healthy but it’s still not enough. Football is known as a very barbaric sport because of all the harmful hits players take to succeed in the sport. Many players get serious injuries including concussions, broken bones, and other career-ending traumas. 

Many players over the years have been seriously injured including Hamlin. Since 2019, injuries have been around the same. According to, in 2019 there were 224 injuries and in 2022 it decreased to 213. In 2017 two time all-star Ryan Shazier, linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, took a hard hit to his back that paralyzed him, ending his football career. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins quarterback, was badly concussed several times in the 2022 season. One of the most common Football injuries is chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. This is a brain condition caused by taking multiple hits to the head. According to CBS Boston, NFL players have a 91.7% chance to end their careers with CTE.

One of the few rules the NFL has added is the helmet rule to prevent players from lowering their shoulders when trying to pass the defender. This rule has stopped players from lowering the shoulders at the defender but it hasn’t stopped the injuries that came from it. In the play where Hamlin collapsed,  the player didn’t lower his shoulder at Hamlin, however when Hamlin tackled him he got a shoulder to his chest.

The NFL has a something called concussion protocol where if a player is seen to get hit hard anywhere near the head they go to the sidelines and get checked for symptoms of a concussion even if they feel good. Similar to the concussion protocols the NFL should add a cardiac checkup. When a player gets hit in the chest there should be medics making sure their heart is still functioning and pumping blood properly.

Clearly football is not a very safe sport but something needs to be done for these players because it’s not fair to them or their families that you can end up ruining your life because of one or multiple hits. The NFL should add more rules or more equipment to keep these players safe while playing the game they worked so hard to become a professional at. Examples of equipment that could be changed is the helmet. In practice players use a helmet called the guardian cap to keep they’re players safe. NBC Sports states that the guardian Cap reduces collision injuries by 20%. This guardian cap helmet could help prevent a lot of the injuries if used in actual games.