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Army Gets Grant From NFL To Study Traumatic Brain Injury (Video)
NFL concussion

The National Football League announced Thursday morning it has awarded the U.S. Army Research Laboratory a grant of $500,000 to study ways to prevent traumatic brain injury.

The NFL, along with corporate partners Under Armour and General Electric, held a competition called "Head Health Challenge II" in which more than 500 applicants worldwide sent in proposals detailing ways to prevent TBI.

The seven winners were notified today. Embattled NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a news release:

“Each of these seven winners will help advance the science towards our shared goal of making sports safer. New materials, equipment designs and technology breakthroughs will better protect athletes, no matter what sport they play. We are looking forward to supporting their next stages of development.”
Unnamed Philadelphia Eagle with concussion

Traumatic brain injury is a major problem in the NFL. A groundbreaking 2013 documentary by Frontline called "League of Denial" detailed how dangerous the concussive nature of football is to players' brains.

Frontline reporter Jason M. Breslow wrote a follow-up story in September 2014, detailing the findings of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ brain repository, which studied the donated brains of 79 former NFL players, and found 76 of those brains had signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).


CTE is a degenerative brain disease "found in athletes... with a history of repetitive brain trauma" according to the Boston University CTE Center.

Fox Sports reports the Army Research Laboratory was able to nab one of the $500,000 grants with the following proposal:

The ARL created rate-dependent tethers that provide resistance during high-speed events. The proposal called for the materials to be connected from the head to torso, allowing for voluntary movement during sports while minimizing sudden accelerations caused by high-speed collisions.

If that is a little difficult to visualize, take a look at the video the Army Research Laboratory put together to explain its proposal:

Preventing Football Head Injuries With Rate-Dependent Straps