In the wake of Chris Borland’s sudden retirement due to concerns about his long-term health, the safety of football has again entered the forefronts of our minds.
According to Dr. John York, the 49ers’ co-chairman and head of the NFL’s healthy and safety advisory committee, football has indeed become less dangerous.
“I think the game has gotten safer,” Dr. York said via CSN Bay Area. “I have no problem with [Borland’s] conclusion. I just think there are things that show positive trends.”
The NFL continues to tell us that concussions are down across the league after implementing recent rule changes that have taken “head shots” out of the game, instead putting the focus on tackling between the numbers. As a result, there are fewer brain injuries, but we’re seeing more and more careers wrecked by blown-up knees.
Per Dr. York, concussions have decreased by 36 percent the past two seasons, and helmet-to-helmet hits are down by 50 percent over the same time period.
We’re never going to see the day that football is without concussions because the players in the trenches — the offensive linemen, defensive linemen, fullbacks, and linebackers — are banging heads every, single play. Those are the players that tend to suffer most in their post-playing careers.