This play was so very typical of what we see every weekend across the country. Young men “mixing it up” for the love of the game. This time, Ellis Hobbs was lucky. When he went down on Sunday in the Eagles-Giants game everyone held their breath, fearing the worst: paralysis or brain injury. Some say Ellis was lucky that his neck injury only involved a damaged cervical disk and not his spinal cord. You know what, maybe it was luck and maybe it wasn’t. It is so important to play football while “keeping the head out of the tackle”—what every coach teaches every player. But, in truth, it’s not really possible. Helmets make players feel safe, feel invisible, despite these incidents. Players, whether they are sandlot age or in the Pros, cannot stop instinctively ducking when an hit is about to happen. So, what’s the answer? Make these helmets as safe as you can! Hobbs’ helmet took the blow and absorbed some of the force so that his neck bones did not break. All football helmets can be made to work this way. It just needs to be a priority. Was Hobbs’ lucky, I don’t think so.
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