Tag Archives: National Football League

Awareness and prevention methods might lead to a reduction in NFL concussion rates

(Credit: CBS 2)

(Credit: CBS 2)

If professional football players are really playing the game differently, the NFL correctly claims that concussion rates are 25 percent less; education and awareness campaigns must be working. The NFL data on injured reserve list players shows the significant decrease in the rate of player concussions. This news was recently promoted at the annual pre-Super Bowl health and safety news conference.

The retired NFL player lawsuits and media coverage promoted increased awareness and research into player education, injury and reporting. The 2014 season was the first in which NFL injury data was electronically collected from all of the teams in the league.

With the new methods for reporting there are more reports of injuries.

There has been a 15 percent increase in injury reporting in the 2014 season, up from last year.  “We knew it was going to be up this year, because we transitioned to the electronic medical records,” Mack said in a telephone interview, echoing Miller’s explanation. “We can’t conclude the incidence of injuries is up. We know the reporting of injuries is up.[i]

Among the data highlights, there were 59 concussions resulting from helmet-to-helmet or shoulder-to-helmet hits during the 2014 season. Last year’s number was just around twice that many. Educating players about how to avoid dangerous hits seems to lead to players avoiding head injuries.

“Players are changing the way they’re tackling,” NFL Senior Vice President of Health and Safety Policy Jeff Miller said. “They’re changing the way they play the game.[ii]

Some claim reduced practice time and new safety protocols affect injuries and reporting.

At the end of the 2013 season, New England Patriots coach, Bill Belichick, suggested that a decrease in the allowed number of practices in both the regular season as well as preseason and offseason contributed to higher injury numbers.[iii] When the U.S. Congress examined NFL concussion policies, and thousands of retired players also criticized the league, the decision was made to implement new safety measures and reduce practice times.

Technology advances for monitoring players, on site game day neurologists, and protecting receivers from being hit by the crown of the helmet are all part of a collection of new methods the NFL is using to reduce head injuries and monitor players to make sure they are blocking and hitting appropriately.

Michael V. Favia & Associates represent clients with sports injuries. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a meeting with an attorney at your convenience. For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates, please visit the firm’s website and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter.

[i] CBS New York: AP: NFL Claims Concussions Down 25 Percent. Jan. 29, 2015.

[ii] See HNi above.

[iii] See HNi above.

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The Trust: program focused on brain health and the well-being of retired NFL players

“The Trust” is a new program for retired NFL players with brain health issues. With so much attention focused on lawsuits and policy change for young athletes we do not hear as much about the health of athletes suffering from long-term brain injuries. When the stories of the suffering are told, too often it is in the context of a sad case of suicide. This is a new program developed by the Cleveland Clinic and the National Football League Players Association featured in a video describing the program and its goal of early detection of potential physical, neurological or cognitive problems.

In a recent interview, Jay Alberts, Ph.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic Concussion Center stated, “Athletic injuries and sports-related brain trauma have become part of the public consciousness and are being viewed as legitimate public health problems.[i]” Alberts further stated, “Former NFL players, in particular, are at increased risk for neurological disease. The goal of this program is to identify potential problems – physical, neurological or cognitive – earlier, which may lead to earlier interventions and treatments.”

NFL players get used to VIP treatment during their careers. The Trust treats them in retirement.

Spice Adams, S.F. 49ers (2003-2007), Chicago Bears (2007-2011); Hunter Hillenmeyer, Chicago Bears (2003-2011); Chester Pitts, Houston Texans (2002-2009), Seattle Seahawks (2010)

Spice Adams, S.F. 49ers (2003-2007), Chicago Bears (2007-2011); Hunter Hillenmeyer, Chicago Bears (2003-2011); Chester Pitts, Houston Texans (2002-2009), Seattle Seahawks (2010)

In the video introducing The Trust, former Chicago Bear, Hunter Hillenmeyer, says it best, “Overnight, you go from coaches and trainers – everything mapped out for you – to a world that sometimes feels like there’s no structure and no clear purpose.” Players making the transition from active NFL careers to retired life need to adjust to life after professional football. First, The Trust offers career counseling by professionals who understand the unique background and position of a recently retired NFL player with unique talents, passions and abilities; The Trust facilitators will even help members prepare for interviews. Next, training and nutrition assessments and plans help members maintain their health and body with a workout regiment tailored to the individual. Then, brain and body treatment and travel to the top physicians and medical facilities are set up through The Trust concierge services to keep members attending to cognitive and physical health.

The website, PlayersTrust.com, where you can learn more about The Trust, offers recent news in addition to sections of the site as resources for retired NFL players, namely Expert Health, Career Counseling, Healthy Living and Business Knowledge. Within the Expert Health section there is a link to Brain and Body describing the benefits provided by partnering medical centers including: initial screening; musculoskeletal/rehabilitation evaluation; cognitive and neuropsychological evaluation; transition counseling and subspecialty referral facilitation in patients’ local areas.

Specialized centers with multidisciplinary care can greatly enhance retired players with brain injuries.

The Cleveland Clinic Concussion Center, one of the provider partners of The Trust, offers concussion evaluations and management through a collaborative team effort made up of Primary Care Sports Medicine physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, certified athletic trainers, vestibular therapists, radiologists, neuro-ophthalmologists, and researchers, all dedicated to patient recovery[ii].

In Chicago, the Chicago Concussion Coalition of the Sports Legacy Institute, represents a network of 50 national athletic, health and social service organizations united under a common mission to work in partnership with coalition members to provide student athletes in greater Chicago with the best resources available to protect them from sports related concussions and recurring injuries.

Michael V. Favia is an advisory counsel member of the Chicago Concussion Coalition and Michael V. Favia & Associates represent clients with sports injuries. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a meeting with an attorney at your convenience. For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates, please visit the firm’s website and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter.


[i] WKYC.com Cleveland. Cleveland Clinic Joins NFLPA in Player Health Initiative. By Staff, Nov. 13, 2013.

[ii] Cleveland Clinic website. Concussion Center page.

Interview on Chicago Concussion Coalition and Sports Legacy Institute

Established in 2011, the Chicago Concussion Coalition (CCC) represents a network of 50 national athletic, health and social service organizations united under a common mission  to work in partnership with coalition members to provide student athletes in greater Chicago with the best resources available reto protect them from sports related concussions and recurring injuries.

Established in 2011, the Chicago Concussion Coalition (CCC) represents a network of 50 national athletic, health and social service organizations united under a common mission to work in partnership with coalition members to provide student athletes in greater Chicago with the best resources available reto protect them from sports related concussions and recurring injuries.

Do you know someone who plays contact sports such as football, hockey, soccer or baseball? How about someone who cheers for the team? Maybe you also know a veteran of U.S. military service. Ok, what do you think all these people have in common? They are the focus of traumatic brain injury / concussion research, education and policy change, by the Sports Legacy Institute (“SLI”) and the Chicago Concussion Coalition. Earlier this week Michael V. Favia appeared along with Ms. Caitlin McElroy, Field Associate, for the Sports Legacy Institute in Chicago, to share information about SLI and its mission, activities and various avenues for interested professionals to get involved.

Click/tap here to listen to an on demand broadcast of the interview on Law Talk Radio.

The mission of the Sports Legacy Institute is to advance the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and other at-risk groups. Highlights of the interview include a further detailed explanation of the SLI’s mission and the foundation of the organization by Christopher Nowinski and Dr. Robert Cantu. They founded SLI as a Boston-based 501(c)(3) in 2007 in response to new research and increased attention to traumatic brain injuries and the need for more research, education and to affect policy change.

Do remember playing sports as a kid, many years ago, and getting hit in the head? Many little league coaches, for example, were known for saying, “Hey, get up and walk it off and take your base.” Then, days later little Tommy’s facial expressions seemed a bit off and droopy and he started mixing up his words. Nowadays, some people think we are overly cautious about concussions. As more research is reported, the scariest thing doctors conclude is that we have only barely scratched the surface in knowing what we are dealing with in terms of cognitive impairment post trauma.

NFL lawsuits brought concussion/traumatic brain injuries to dinner table discussions nationwide.

When several former NFL players filed suit against numerous defendants for permanent injuries due to concussions during games, a few helmet manufacturers responded with efforts at creating high-tech safety helmets, which is a good thing. What people should remember is that helmets can help soften impacts and protect the skull, but the brain is floating in fluid and those impacts can still create grave danger to players.

Many advocacy groups also focus their attention on cheerleading safety and military service members who suffer from traumatic brain injury. Also discussed in the above-linked interview are current trends in concussion research, and how SLI and the Chicago Concussion Coalition are engaging community groups, schools and teams to share vital information. Attorney Michael V. Favia noted that injury attorneys looking for concussion experts should certainly learn more and be in touch with SLI’s Chicago Concussion Coalition to learn more.

The Law Offices of Michael V. Favia advise and represent clients in connection with concussions/traumatic brain injury. To contact the firm to speak to a lawyer you may dial (773) 631-4580. For more information about the firm’s practice areas, you can visit the website, Facebook and Twitter sites.

Michael V. Favia speaks at concussion symposium

Michael V. Favia speaks at concussion symposium hosted by DePaul SLICE

Michael V. Favia speaks at concussion symposium hosted by DePaul SLICE on May 9, 2013

Michael V. Favia, J.D., frequently speaks on panel symposiums on the areas of practice offered by The Law Firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates. Personal injury and specifically traumatic brain injuries are focused areas of practice at the firm. This May, the DePaul Sports Legacy Institute, Chicago Concussion Coalition, hosted a concussion symposium and invited attorney Favia to volunteer his time and speak, among a panel of experts, presenting to an audience of nearly 50 professionals who are concerned with injuries to the brain.

Traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) is a compelling field of research and the studies published in the medical and legal communities are frequently updated as more is discovered about the brain and how it responds to injury. Many legal cases in the news highlight the trauma an injury victim experiences. For example, the National Football League and many retired NFL players are involved in ongoing litigation regarding helmet safety, physician roles and player safety through education.

Concussions can be particularly difficult to diagnose and treat, particularly due to a wide range of symptoms experienced and reported by brain injury victims. With increased awareness among professionals and citizens there is an increase in policy making and education so we can all protect our friends and family when an injury occurs. Sporting programs, not only professional, but also local, in schools and communities benefit from the collective research and presentations of the issues in symposiums here in Chicago and nationwide.

The panel of presenters at the May 9, SLICE concussion symposium also included: Dorothy Kozlowski, Ph.D.; Leonard V. Messner, OD, FAAO; Jeffrey Mjaanes, M.D., FAAP, FACSM; Sue Walsh, D.N., Med, ATC, EMT; Amanda Lorenzen, as well as the NFL Alumni Chicago Chapter representatives Marc May and Bryce Fisher.

If you are interested in learning more about concussions and what you should do if you or a friend or family member is injured and are concerned, you should contact The Law Firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates to learn what steps you should take to protect the safety and future medical issues facing those who suffer from traumatic brain injury. The firm can also offer additional educational resources to better help the concerned.

Please feel free to keep the dialogue moving and leave your comments below. You can also keep in touch when you “Like” and “Follow” Michael V. Favia & Associates on Facebook and Twitter.