Hits to the Head Are Beyond Just Concussions

Taiwan Jones, a running back for the Buffalo Bills, made sure to count all his blessings twice Sunday night after his team’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

It was a routine special teams play and the Chargers were set to punt to the Bills. Returner Marcus Murphy, however, fumbled the punt upon receiving it, thus causing a loose ball.

Jones, with all good intentions to save the play, scooped the ball up in the end zone to prevent a possible touchdown by the Chargers in which he was swarmed by defenders and spun free to avoid tacklers. His helmet, though, flew off in the process and he was then smashed by rookie linebacker Uchenna Nwosu.

Dazed and faced down on the turf, Jones sensed he was bleeding badly. He claims he didn’t fall out of consciousness, but was taken into the locker room at New Era Field, bloodied and hit hard.  

The injury turned out to be a gash in his head that opened a wound from his eyebrow to above his hairline. Jones was cleared after over 10 stitches and only felt soreness in his neck. He didn’t suffer any sort of concussion, according to tests, and he could play against the Vikings this weekend for the Bills.

“I can’t say it enough, I definitely feel blessed to walk away from that,’’ Jones told the media after practice. “We see guys who get hit like that with their helmet on and some guys don’t get up on their own, so I feel blessed.’’

Jones recalls the event and how nervous he was, especially for his head and neck, but luckily was able to get up on his own.

“I was never out of it,’’ he continued. “When I went to the ground, because I had whiplash so bad, I was kind of worried about my neck. I started to slowly move and once I knew my neck was fine, I knew I’d be OK.

“Right before I started getting up I started to feel (the blood) coming down, and it was ‘All right, I’m split open pretty good.’ But again, I’ve got all my teeth and I was able to walk away from it, so I definitely feel blessed.’’

Nwosu, who hit Jones, claimed he didn’t hear a whistle or knew that Jones was defenseless and later issued an apology for the hit. NFL rules states that any player that loses a helmet will result in the end of the play. Nwosu claims that it happened too fast to react otherwise.

“The game is rough, but my intention is never to hurt anyone,’’ Nwosu said. “The ref hadn’t blown the whistle to call the play dead and I didn’t realize his helmet had come off. My apologies man.”

Jones accepted the apology and didn’t blame him for the hit.

“I appreciate that a lot,’’ he told media about Nwosu’s apology. “I didn’t think it was on purpose or a dirty play. It’s football and it was unfortunate, but it was just a bang-bang play.’’

Fortunately for Jones, he left with only bruises and stitches. But that’s almost never the case for most players. A defenseless hit like that could have resulted in a severe concussion, or could have been even worse. One doctor even claimed that a hit like that could have broken his skull.

But as freak accidents like this continue to occur on the playing field, there are new scientific advancements that could prevent something like this from ever happening. 2nd Skull is the latest technology on the market for football players designed to not only keep the helmet on a player’s head at all time, but also to protect players’ heads from blows.

2nd Skull is a patent-tested headwear that is made to help athletes in various sports beyond just football. For those that constantly experience contact, or in this case, want to make sure the helmet remains snug on the head, there is a skull cap, which is worn underneath the helmet to maximize the support to the entire skull in order to protect the athlete from blows to the head. 2nd Skull also has a stylish, yet relaxed fit lightweight headband that can also be worn by football players while they are in non-contact drills during practice or when playing flag football.

In a severe case, like what Jones experienced, had he worn a 2nd Skull accessory while playing last Sunday, he may have not had his helmet ripped off, nor had to have any stitches.

More about 2nd Skull

The 2nd Skull products provide extra protection, featuring a thin layer of XRD® Technology, which is a high-quality energy absorbing material. The urethane molecules made inside the material work as a soft and flexible fabric, which suddenly harden under immediate pressure. Both the band and the cap have been extensively tested for safety measures. Through different biomechanical testing at independant labs in North America and the United Kingdom, the skull cap, when worn under athletic helmets, lowers both rotational and linear impact thereby improving the performance of the helmet.

2nd Skull won the NFL HeadHealth TECH II Challenge and was named to the Sports Tech Awards shortlists as one of the Most Innovative Sports Equipment or Apparel products. The caps and headbands are designed to be both effective in reducing impacts and geared for comfort, with an antimicrobial and moisture wicking fabric cover.  For a 2nd Skull product that best tailors to your sport, visit their website and order directly from them as well.

Note: Scientists have not reached agreement on how the results of impact absorption tests relate to neck, head, or brain injuries, including concussions.  No conclusions about a reduction of risk or severity of neck, head, or brain injuries, including concussions, should be drawn from impact absorption tests.