of Kevin Everett's (Buffalo Bills) Head-Down Hit and
Jon Heck, MS, ATC 9/07
Everett is #85 in the Dark Jersey:
It's A Head-Down
is not ideal, but it was the best that I could find.
It's clear that Everett lowered his head just before the collision
and made contact with the top of his helmet. This is almost always
the mechanism of cervical spine injuries in football ... this
hit is no exception. It's also not a "helmet to helmet" hit.
It's a helmet to shoulder
hit, with some incidental helmet contact.
head is clearly down at the moment of impact. It's
also clear this was not a helmet to helmet hit. Notice
that the ball-carriers head is also down, another example
of how common it is for players to lower their head's
not much has changed in the past 8 years. Although it is
only one day
after Everett's injury, I have not seen, heard nor read
anyone attempting to educate other football players/ coaches/ officials/fans/parents
that these injuries are caused by head-down contact. This
was much the same case last year when the Cincinatti Bengal's David
Pollack fractured his
cervical spine during a tackle. I will keep my eyes open,
but once again I'm not too optimistic that Everett's injury
be used to help prevent other similar injuries. And as I
mention above, that only adds to the tragedy.
The bottom line remains: By keeping the head-up and initiating
contact with the shoulder, these injuries can be prevented
at every level ... high school, college and even the pros.
things have changed in the past 8 years. There have been quite
a few articles out about preventing these injuries
and how to make contact correctly. Congrats to these writers
for a job well done: