We have yet to see a solution for eliminating head injuries in the NFL, and in football as a whole. With each year that passes we seemingly witness more and more head related injuries due to the extreme physical nature of the sport. Players have long endured the physical and mental toll the game takes on them, yet there has been little progress made, both by the league and by companies that manufacture helmets, to reduce the number of concussions taking place on the gridiron. Unless the league just makes a dramatic switch from tackle to two-hand touch, this will continue to be an ongoing problem unless someone decides to tackle the problem head-on (no pun intended). Well it looks like that someone could be Reebok.
Reebok is set to introduce a new technology called CheckLight to help identify the severity of hits to the head on the field. With the help of Tennessee Titans’ quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, and his former Seattle teammate Isaiah Kacyvenski, Reebok will begin testing out the CheckLight technology, which will make its debut this spring.
The CheckLight, which is virtually a skullcap to be worn underneath the helmet, consists of three different colored lights (green, yellow, and red), each indicating the severity of the impact taken by the head during an on-field collision. The light will turn green to yellow after moderate impact, and from yellow to red on harder blows. In theory, the system will allow team personnel on the sidelines to gauge the seriousness of head injuries and diagnosing them properly. The CheckLight won’t do anything to actually reduce the risk of head injury itself, however it should get the ball rolling towards finding an end solution to the issue.
“I like the idea of the CheckLight being able to start the conversation because it’s always the hardest part when you’re talking about head traumas,” Kacyvenski said. “The player just kind of sits by himself, kind of holds it inside and may or may not get to the sidelines to have the opportunity (to get looked at). Once they are on the sidelines, and you go through this protocol already in place in the NFL, the NHL, youth leagues, whatever, the player, still has to, if he has symptoms, admit it. That’s a problem all in itself, so that’s obviously what we’re dealing with. What we’re trying to do is start that conversation.”
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