The National Football League has seen its fair share of scare moments on the field this year.
Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion in Week 4 against the Bengals in Cincinnati drew national criticism, but Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on the same field Monday night has drawn prayers around the world.
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The game is very different from when Eric Dickerson played: helmet-to-helmet tackles and hitting defenseless players are illegal. However, no matter what rule changes there are, injuries are inevitable.
Despite the frightening nature of Hamlin’s health, Dickerson said he has to give the NFL credit where it’s due.
“The game is violent anyway. That’s never going to change…” Dickerson told Fox News Digital in a recent interview when asked if he thinks the game has gotten too violent. “[My mother] He said that it is not natural for one person to meet another at full speed. She said that it is an unnatural act like a car accident. And it’s true. It’s like a car accident, you know, it’s not natural. It will always be physical…
“But I’ll tell the league, I think they’ve done the best job they can to protect players. I give them credit. I’ll give them credit where it’s due. I really do.”
BILLS’ DAMAR HAMLIN HAS SHOWN ‘SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT’, STILL IN CRITICAL CONDITION, TEAM SAYS
Dickerson cited the rule changes, as well as advances in the team: The NFL has adopted new policies for the health and safety of its players in almost all of the new collective agreements.
Even this year, when Tagovailoa was hospitalized with his first concussion of the year, the NFL made changes to its concussion protocol when a player would not be allowed to return to a game if they displayed gross motor skills, also known as ataxia.
In 2017, there were 281 concussions reported by the NFL. Last season, that number dropped to 187. However, last year there were 71 ACL tears, the most recorded by the NFL since 2015.
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Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle on Tee Higgins. He got to his feet after the blow but collapsed soon after, and medical staff performed CPR for more than nine minutes before he was carried off the field and taken to a local hospital in an ambulance.
The Bills said he has shown “signs of improvement” and is expected to remain in intensive care.