The NFL has been at the center of legal, social, and player debate over their inactions regarding player safety. Specifically, the debate surrounds on head trauma suffered by players on the field. By 2015, the NFL may take the first step in curbing future head injury cases. According to a report today on SI.com.
According to the report, two teams tried out a newly-developed helmet impact sensor. The teams were not named and it’s expected that more franchises will try it out this year. If that goes well, the NFL may see fit to mandate the sensors for all 32 teams.
Developed at the University of North Carolina by Kevin Guskiewicz, the head sensors may be the first measure taken to help the NFL recognize head injuries. The league has not been very fast in getting the safety measures from discussion onto the field.
According to Guskiewicz, the NFL seems pretty open to this idea, even if they have yet to sign off on it.
“We need a sample of these players across all positions and studying every play type possible,” Guskiewicz told USA Today. “So, that’s the next step. Then I hope from there that, if we find the devices have utility that could actually help an individual player … my hope would be that we would go league-wide.”
In reality, there is no reason the NFL shouldn’t try these out, even if the initial investment for a full league wide trial proves to be a bit expensive.
The data that could be acquired from an entire season may help decide if the impact devices will actually help the NFL recognize serious helmet collisions on the field, instead of relying on an outdated concussion test performed on the sidelines.