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FDA Rules on New Football ‘Collar’ Designed to Make Game Safer

Could this help bring some fans back into the fold?

Had the NFL not mired itself in a number of political controversies as of late, American football may very well have become the national pastime.

The sport, which is designed to be a bone-jarring battle at every snap, was becoming ever-more endearing to Americans whose attention spans were shortening.  The 160+ game MLB season was too much time to invest in fanaticism for a team and, besides, they could just tune in for the last two months of the season if their team made it.

The NFL, along with the NCAA, offered a much more succinct product, where every game really mattered, and if it weren’t for the controversy surrounding the National Anthem some years ago, the pro league would be in top of the world right now.

Another concern among football fans has long been safety, as well, particularly as is pertains to the neck and head of players.  This is where a new product, now approved by the FDA, could bring some assurance back to the game.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday approved a device meant to minimize the damaging effects of repetitive impacts to the head in athletes 13 and older.

The Q-Collar is a C-shaped device that applies compression to the neck and aims to reduce the movement of the athlete’s brain with the cranial space, which could occur during impacts to the head area, the FDA said. The device might reduce changes to the brain associated with brain injuries.

“Today’s action provides an additional piece of protective equipment athletes can wear when playing sports to help protect their brains from the effects of repetitive head impacts while still wearing the personal protective equipment associated with the sport,” Dr. Christopher M. Loftus, acting director of the Office of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a news release.

The device isn’t exactly new, with Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers employing the Q-Collar all the way back in 2017.


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