There’s a lot to learn from the NFL’s most gruesome injuries of the past years. From 49ers’ safety DB Ronnie Lott’s broken finger in 1985 to Dak Prescott’s compound ankle fracture and dislocation in 2020, the league’s preparedness or lack of it is constantly being tested. Here are some key things we can take away from these accidents:
Many footballers don’t have the basic first-aid skills required to take care of themselves properly, let alone others. A few, however, have shown bravery and admirable skills in injury scenarios, as was the case with 49ers’ DB Ronnie Lott in their game against Dallas.
As he was trying to tackle running back Timmy Newsome, DB Ronnie Lott severely injured his finger leaving behind small pieces of bone scattered on the field.
However, Lott decided to perform the surgery procedure himself instead of missing any game time by having it removed. This peculiar display of both bravery and mastery of crucial first-aid skills is something you can’t say anyone in today’s game would boast of having.
If players are going to be so lost in the moment as to put their bodies and careers on the line for the game, the least they could do is be prepared for when things go wrong. A Canada safety training in first aid, for instance, can go a long way.
While some may see it as overkill to get first aid training for playing a game, when you’re dealing with the kind of high-impact collisions that happen in the NFL regularly, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
However, NFL players’ lack of basic first aid skills isn’t the only lesson to learn from these gruesome injuries. Another is that football players are still susceptible to serious harm even with all the pads and protective gear they wear.
Some injuries are so surreal that even the injured players wake from them in complete denial of what just happened.
A case in point is when Dak Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in their October 11, 2020 game against the New York Giants, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. The injury looked eerily leaving Logan Ryan, the tackler, dumbfounded and quiet, wondering what had just happened.
“I heard something hit the ground; then he hit the ground. We both were quiet,” Ryan said to ESPN’s Giant reporter. “I kind of looked down and saw his foot facing the other way. I kind of got up, like, ‘Whoa,’ and I tried to signal to the trainers.”
Prescott was immediately rushed to the hospital for surgery and has since recovered. Even after his return, Prescott suffered yet another injury in his right shoulder while in practice, indicating that there’s little a player can do to prevent injury on the field.
With proper equipment, disciplined play and some medical emergency skills, perhaps the number of fatal injuries can drop significantly.
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