LINDSIDE, WV (WVNS) — It is a moment that called into question the NFL’s safety protocols.
In the days since Miami Dolphin’s quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa suffered a scary-looking head injury, the NFL has pledged to make changes to better protect its players.
Here in the Mountain State, all high school sports have concussion and injury protocols in place to identify and take care of athletes.
John Mustain, head coach at James Monroe High School, says that alongside the protocols, youth football players are being taught how to tackle better to avoid such injuries.
“We teach the heads-up tackling program so, ultimately, it’s being aware and being smart about what you’re doing out there because those kids are a lot, lot more important than this game is,” said Mustain.
However, it isn’t just on the coaches, but the players as well to protect themselves.
Kimmie Williams, an athletic trainer and school nurse for PikeView, talked about the difficulty of getting some players to admit when they are injured.
“You know, these kids, they aspire to be great and we want that, but we also want them to understand that their safety and their health and their wellbeing is our number one priority always,” said Williams. “So to get through to them sometimes, telling them, you have to tell me, you have to tell me if you’re hurt, tell me if you’re not feeling like you do, on a normal game day.”
Oftentimes, players don’t think of what could happen to them if they try to come back too soon, especially when they’ve suffered a head injury.
“Our coaches are amazing,” said Williams. “They talk to the guys and they tell them, you have got to know that there is always another day to play but if you get injured playing too soon, that might end your career.”