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Player Safety

Is there a way to better protect players from season or career-ending injuries?

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

A few weeks back, one of the NFL's bright, young stars, Kelvin Benjamin, of the Carolina Panthers suffered a non-contact, season-ending knee injury, which flashed me back to last season when Virginia Tech lost their top two running backs, Shai McKenzie and Marshawn Williams, the same way. Is there a way colleges and NFL teams can better predict or prevent these sorts of injuries?

While I understand that injuries happen in the game of football, it just seems all too commonplace that there are so many today. From high school phenoms (Josh Sweat: tisk tisk) to college and NFL stars (too many to mention) there seems to be no way of preventing injuries, whether they are concussions, torn ligaments or broken bones.

Is it a problem of education? Are football organizations not educating themselves or their players about the potential risks and how to minimize them (proper equipment and fundamentals)? There seems to be some of this, especially when coaches seem ignorant as to the ins and outs of the injuries themselves.

Is it a problem with the added pressure for athletes to achieve at a level their bodies cannot handle? This one is tricky because it is completely subjective from case-to-case. Too far for one guy is not even close to the maximum for another, which is why I will leave this one up for debate.

Finally, is it a problem with equipment regulations and research? VT has long been known for leading the way when it comes to concussion research and football helmet development, which is awesome, but could more be done. Specifically, should players be required to wear braces to prevent serious injury to ligaments and soft tissues?

Let us know your thoughts, Hokies.

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