Jay Cutler makes the start against the Seahawks today after suffering a concussion two weeks ago against the Giants. Earlier this week, there were some reports that Cutler was in fact
cleared to play against the Panthers last week, but the Bears denied that report. Regardless, the Bears didn't need Cutler to
beat the Panthers and the team was right in sitting him just like
placing Hunter Hillenmeyer on injury reserve.
There were also articles, uncovered by the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs, that Cutler suffered three concussions during his time in Vanderbilt and a fourth when he was with the Denver Broncos. Cutler denies having them. Maybe he forgot or maybe he's just denying that he was ever concussed before.
The Bears and NFL are taking concussions more seriously. Football in its original form was a physical contact sport but it's become a violent collision sport. Its popularity is at an all time high and keeps growing but sometimes to the detriment of its players' health.
Much has been done to research the long term effects of concussions. The NFL is taking more proactive approach in diagnosing and treating concussions. Technology is also improving.
Riddell made the decision 10 years ago to make significant changes to their football helmet line to improve athlete protection and reduce the risks concussions.
The traditional football helmet shell shape and face mask design didn't protect players as they should so the company took a huge risk in changing not only the padding structure, protective elements of the helmet and how it looked.
In a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center study, the Riddell Revolution® helmet can reduce the risk of concussion by 31% when compared to traditional helmets.
The company innovated the Head Impact Telemetry System - or HITS. HITS equipped football helmets can monitor and record everything about every head impact a player sees on the football field and transmit that information to the sideline in real time. This is powerful information in identifying players that are at risk and getting them treatment before a more serious injury occurs.
The combination of a heightened awareness of concussions and improved technology aim to protect the players. It used to be when players got their bell rung, they had to get up and shake off the big hit. It meant that you were tough and if you didn't, it was a sign of weakness. We now understand the seriousness of concussions and the damage it could have.