Concussion decrease this season is a big win for the NFL

The NFL season ended Sunday with a historic Super Bowl. The Patriots made a comeback unprecedented in Super Bowl history to beat the Falcons 34-28. It was Tom Brady’s fifth Super Bowl win and his fourth time being named Super Bowl MVP. With its incredible athletic and dramatic appeal, it was probably the best game America could have asked for.



But as exciting as the game was, it was not the best thing to happen this season. Because this season, concussion rates finally fell instead of rising.


The development is an enormous step forward, a testament to the improved concussion protocols in the NFL. The increased sensitivity to head protection and the rule changes that protect against concussions are paying off, and that’s worth celebrating.


That’s not to say things are perfect, that we’ve arrived and have nowhere else to go. Though the concussion rate was down 11.3 percent from the 2015 season, there were still 244 concussions among NFL players this year, plenty to be concerned about. But if this is the start of a new trend, if next season there will be even fewer and the numbers keep dropping as the years go by, we may have finally turned a corner in concussion prevention in professional sports.


*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.