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NFL Partners With Military To Tackle Brain Injury Awareness

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is gang tackled by Seattle Seahawks
Joint Base Lewis McChord
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is gang tackled by Seattle Seahawks

The National Football League is partnering with the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps to make both NFL players and service members more aware of the long-term dangers of concussions.

The Washington Post reports NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met last month with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno on the danger of brain injuries. That meeting has triggered subsequent meetings at the Pentagon with NFL players, military leaders, and medical experts.

Getting troops to get checked out by a doctor after being hit in the head is a big problem, say military leaders. Army Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza told the Washington Post:

“You hear them saying, ‘I’m not taking myself off the battlefield.’ Why? ‘Because the guy on my left and my right trust that I’ll be there.’ You heard the same thing from the players. ‘I’m not coming out of the game because I need to help my team.’”

The Post reports an estimated 60 percent of former NFL players suffered concussions during games and practice, with almost one-third of players saying they had at least three concussions.

Traumatic brain injury is considered the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's estimated that somewhere between 115,000 and 400,000 service members have suffered from TBI.