Position-Specific Circumstances of Concussions in the NFL: Toward the Development of Position-Specific Helmets.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Consideration of position-specific features of the NFL concussion environment could enable improved risk mitigation through the design of position-specific helmets to improve self-protection as well as protection for the other player with whom the contact occurs. The purpose of this paper is to quantify position-specific features of scenarios resulting in concussions to NFL players, and the players they contact, by reviewing all game footage (broadcast and non-broadcast) over 4 seasons. Position-specific features were documented for 647 concussions in which a primary exposure could be visualized, including impact source, helmet impact location, activity, and the other player with whom the contact occurred. Findings include the over-representation of helmet-to-ground impacts to the rear of the quarterback's helmet, the high frequency of impacts to the side (upper) location of both concussed players and the players they contacted regardless of position, and distinct differences in the circumstances of concussions to cornerbacks and safeties. The study shows that some features of concussion scenarios are common to all positions, but several position-specific features exist and can inform the design of position-specific helmets for NFL players.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lessley, DJ; Kent, RW; Cormier, JM; Sherwood, CP; Funk, JR; Crandall, JR; Myers, BS; Arbogast, KB

Published Date

  • November 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 48 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 2542 - 2554

PubMed ID

  • 33078366

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-9686

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0090-6964

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10439-020-02657-z


  • eng