Concussion injuries on the rise

Concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy cases throughout the 2022 NFL and College football seasons are causing concerns among families and teammates.

Professional players including Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins’ quarterback, are the reason this topic is becoming popular. Tagovailoa was put back into the game in Week three of the NFL season after taking a severe hit.

“I don’t think Tua should have gone back into the game,” Logan Bonato, sophomore, said. “Even though it was a big game, he shouldn’t have played. Yes, we won, but at what cost?”

Due to this injury, the NFL changed its concussion protocol, adding more steps to make sure the player is fully healed.

“They [new protocols] are gonna help. I know they have people watching the player’s every move looking for any sign of a concussion,” Bonato said. “The [NFL] switched to the College Football targeting rules.”

These types of hits are now becoming more common in youth sports.

“Increased concussions in youth sports are likely the product of increased awareness and therefore increased tracking of head injuries,” Kevin Embick, Jupiter High assistant football coach, said. “Also, kids today are playing competitive sports at a far more frequent rate than at any other time. 

Colin Snowney, junior, explains the effects of concussions firsthand.

“I had two [concussions] in a very short amount of time so the effects of fast movements, like getting up and down, make me feel dizzy,” Snowney said. “[I remember] not feeling engaged in where I was at all.”

Snowney got his concussion after not wearing the necessary equipment.

“I wasn’t wearing my headgear but I feel like I just got unlucky,” Snowney said. “[People need] to wear protective headgear [more] and be more cautious of their head.”

However, many believe that the equipment isn’t the problem.

“I’m honestly amazed with the increase in concussions with the new technology in helmets,” Bonato said. “I feel like the turf is making things much worse because it is so much harder.”

Experts and coaches are creating ways to help solve the issue.

“I think the biggest thing to help decrease chances of getting concussions is awareness from parents, players, and especially coaches,” Embick said. “Equipment, professional development and training of coaches, and required protocol to review any possible concussion will also help continue to decrease the rate of concussions hopefully.”