There is no higher priority
for the NFL than player
health and safety.

The NFL is leading the charge on advancements in technology, engineering and medical care, which will benefit not only the sport of football, but also athletes around the world and society at large.

man

The Health of
our players is
a top priority.

Our effort to further the health and safety of our players remains our highest priority.

This year, we have made tremendous strides in our effort to make the game we love safer and more exciting.

Using what we have learned from engineering and biomechanics experts, we made important rules changes that aim to reduce the risk of injury. We continue to support the world’s leading researchers, in pursuit of advancing head health research, as well as work to champion new innovations around protective equipment. This important work is ongoing and we continue to strive for our players to receive unparalleled care.

Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner

“The NFL brings together the brightest minds in medicine, science, engineering and data analysis; and supports leading innovators and researchers with funding to advance player safety and evolve the game on all levels.”

“As a physician, sometimes the most important work is done before a patient reaches the exam room. This season’s injury reduction plan, rules changes and advancements in protective equipment were the result of important developments in how the game is played and how we think about athlete safety. I’m proud of the league’s leadership in the care of its players.”

Pushing the Limits
of Technology.

A Smarter Play
To Protect the Players.

Football is filled with incredible athletes who never cease to amaze us with their talent, dedication and game changing performances. With advances in technology, engineering, and biomechanics, the League is leading the charge for a safer tomorrow for all those who love to play the game.

Engineering Roadmap

Using Science
To Design Better
Protective Equipment

As part of the NFL’s Play Smart. Play Safe. initiative, the NFL pledged $60 million toward the creation and funding of a five-year project called the Engineering Roadmap. It’s a comprehensive effort to improve the understanding of the biomechanics of head injuries in professional football and to create incentives for helmet manufacturers, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and universities to develop and commercialize new and improved protective equipment, including helmets. Scroll right to see just a few of the current Engineering Roadmap initiatives and updates.

Expanding Our
Roster of Experts

The Engineering Roadmap is spearheaded by Football Research Incorporated, Inc. (FRI), a nonprofit corporation created and funded by the NFL. FRI is directed by leading engineers and other experts with the common goal to understand and advance player protection.

Geoff
Ling

M.D., Ph.D.,
Col. (Ret.)

Alton
Romig Jr.

Ph.D.

Jeffrey
W. Runge

M.D.

Barclay
Morrison
III

Ph.D.

The Engineering Roadmap was designed to be an engine of innovation. We looked at the protective equipment in the marketplace and saw that there was a lot of room for improvement, but not a lot of capital. So, we put together a roadmap and a hierarchy of engineers and worked to stimulate that marketplace by adding modern tools, modern data and modern equipment for entrepreneurs. We are beginning to see the benefits of providing the capital and catalyst driving innovation in protective equipment, and we look forward to the progress yet to come. Jeff Miller
NFL Executive Vice President of Player Health and Safety Initiatives

Gathering and
Measuring Data

In order to drive advances in protective technology, it is important to understand exactly how impact affects injury. Read about our 2017 research initiative that is providing important data not only to influence innovations in equipment but also to inform changes to how the game is played.

View the Key Takeaways

experts
partnering
with innovators

New tools to encourage innovation, advance design and encourage the use of new materials in the development of improved protective equipment are now available for engineers and entrepreneurs.

With funding from the NFL under the Engineering Roadmap, Biocore and FRI collaborated with partners at the University of Virginia, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and the University of Waterloo to develop open-source finite element (FE) models of four modern football helmets.

The models were created as one way to enable improvements in the safety of protective equipment in football.

HeadHealthTECH
Challenge III winners

Impressio, Inc.
Denver, Colorado

Impressio, Inc., in partnership with the University of Colorado Denver, received a grant of $121,949 to support development and testing of its ultra-dissipative padding made from liquid-crystal elastomers.

HRL Laboratories, LLC
Malibu, California

Received a grant of $186,043 to support development and testing of its novel impact-attenuating pads for football helmets. Their technologies operate in space, on aircraft, in cars, and in a variety of consumer products.

AES Research & Design
Baltimore, Maryland

Received a grant of up to $20,000 for the testing of its anti-rotational kinematic (ARK) helmet prototype, which is designed to significantly reduce the rotational forces that a football player experiences during contact.

HeadHealthTECH
Challenge IV winners

Fieldturf INC.
Montreal, Canada

Received a grant of $195,000 to continue development of an advanced, all-new sports surface that is designed to reduce impact, provide optimal playability and make fields safer and more manageable.

Corsair Innovations
Plymouth, Massachusetts

Received a grant of $168,504 to continue testing of its Fiber Energy Absorbing Material, a unique material that is designed to reduce impact. Corsair will fine tune its material specific for the football helmet.

Yobel Technologies
Starkville, Mississippi

A Mississippi State University start-up company, received a grant of $20,000 to support testing of their optimized, lightweight, energy-absorbent prototyped facemask that is designed to fit onto existing commercial helmets.

Helmet Testing

Empowering players to make informed helmet choices

Providing players with detailed information to make informed helmet choices will allow them to make the best decisions In April 2018, the NFL and the NFL Players Association announced the results of an annual study to rate the laboratory performance of football helmets. The results were then shared with NFL players, club equipment managers, and medical staff to help the players make educated equipment choices.

Watch Video

the NFL's
helmet rating
system

The goal of the study, as in prior years, was to determine which helmets best reduced head impact severity under laboratory conditions simulating certain concussion-causing impacts sustained by NFL players during games.

Based on the results of this study, the opinions of the biomechanical experts involved and/or the discontinuance of the model by the manufacturer, the NFL and NFLPA will prohibit 10 helmet models being worn by NFL players. In previous seasons, NFL players could choose any helmet as long as the helmet passed current National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) certification standards.

The prohibited helmets perform poorly in laboratory testing, have been discontinued by the manufacturer, or were produced by companies no longer manufacturing football helmets. Six of these helmets are prohibited immediately. The other four may be worn by players who were using them in 2017, but may not be adopted by new players.

by prohibiting players from using certain helmets, more than 200 players will choose helmets that performed better than certain prohibited helmets under the tested laboratory conditions.
When we test a helmet in the laboratory, we’re looking for how it manages the impact forces that a player might experience on the field… We were able to show that the laboratory test data correlated with on field performance. It gave us more confidence that the ranking we show on the poster has relevance for the players. Dr. Kristy Arbogast
Co-Scientific Director, Center for Injury Research and Prevention,
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Advisor, NFL Players Association

Cleats Testing

HELPING PLAYERS CHOOSE THE BEST FOOTWEAR FOR THE FIELD

After coordinating extensive research on athletic shoe safety and performance, the NFL Musculoskeletal Committee released the results of an annual laboratory test that assesses the performance of football cleats. The test evaluated how the cleats release from synthetic turf during potentially injurious loading. This is another tool that the NFL provides to players, club equipment managers, and medical staff to help players make informed footwear decisions on the field.

1st & Future

Inspiring Innovation Through Healthy Competition

1st & Future is one of the NFL’s many partnerships and innovation challenges designed to stimulate industry-disrupting advancements in athlete safety and performance. This year, nine tech entrepreneurial teams presented to a panel of expert judges in an effort to convince them that their cutting-edge product would positively impact the future of sports. Meet the winners of the third annual 1st & Future competition, hosted live at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis the day before Super Bowl LII.

impressio:
the anti-flubber

Category ADVANCEMENTS IN PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Impressio was founded by University of Colorado Denver professor Chris Yakacki and University of Wyoming professor Carl Frick. Together, they explained the extensive research that went into the development of their proprietary liquid-crystal elastomer materials. Yakacki explained, “You need a fundamentally new material to make an impact in design and safety.”

recoverx:
out of the ice age

Category ADVANCEMENTS IN PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

RecoverX CEO Alex Aguiar and CTO Dan Evans emphasized the importance of giving athletes effective new technology during his pitch for Element, a smartphone-controlled cold and heat therapy device. “We’re still stuck in the ice age. We are literally still putting ice on to treat our injuries,” Aguiar said. “This is the next generation of player recovery. It’s a tool for pro athletes, youth athletes, and weekend warriors.”

curv.ai:
athlete development

Category ADVANCEMENTS IN PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Curv.ai’s Co-Founder and CEO Shea Balish said he wants to supplant sports wearables with an app that “turns the camera on any mobile device into a diagnostic tool for human motion.” Curv.ai aims to harness the power of augmented reality by offering this tool. Balish emphasized that the platform would not only be a tool for pro athletes, but would also be geared toward the 24 million youth athletes in the U.S.

Learning more
will always be our
number one goal.

gaining a better
understanding of the data

The NFL supports numerous initiatives to gather and analyze data to help guide its continuous efforts to protect its players and advance the game.

Leveraging Data

COLLECTING AND ANALYZING A SEASON’S WORTH OF INJURY DATA

An independent third-party company, IQVIA, compiles and analyzes injury data collected throughout the year and shares it with the NFL, the NFL Players Association and the NFL medical and football communities. Leveraging annual data helps the NFL better understand trends in injuries and serves as a guide for ongoing health and safety efforts.

View the 2017 Results
Our players work incredibly hard to prepare themselves to perform at the highest levels on game day. Our mission is to work equally as hard on health and safety to make the game as safe as we possibly can—because health and safety remains our number one priority. Dr. Allen Sills
NFL Chief Medical Officer

The 2018 Injury Reduction Plan

a three-pronged approach TO DRIVE BEHAVIORAL CHANGES

This year, the NFL launched an Injury Reduction Plan with the goal to reduce concussions in the 2018 season. Following a 16% increase in concussions during the 2017 season, NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills issued a call-to-action to reduce concussions. NFL leaders, clubs and the wide variety of experts in medicine, engineering and science who form the NFL medical committees developed a three-pronged approach to drive behavioral changes.

Watch Video
01

preseason
practices

“The first part of our concussion reduction [strategy],” said Dr. Sills, “is around preseason practices—so we want to work with our clubs to look at how they’re practicing, what types of drills are being done to see if we can drive that number [of concussions] down.” The NFL is sharing information across the League to educate, stimulate change and enhance player safety— including information about concussions in preseason practices. The time during the preseason, the drill, the player position and how each club’s injury data compare to the rest of the league are just some of the information shared with each club. Clubs have been asked to review practice schedules and monitor contact drills, particularly in the early weeks of training camp.

02

better performing
helmets

The second part of the Injury Reduction Plan is a goal to get players to move players to replace lower-performing helmets and adopt better-performing helmets in an effort to decrease the risk of injury. Each year, helmets undergo laboratory testing by biomechanical engineers appointed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association to evaluate which helmets best reduce head impact severity.

03

rules
changes

The third component of the Injury Reduction Plan is the enforcement of rules changes aimed at limiting potentially risky behavior that could lead to injuries. Through the latest changes including the “Use of the Helmet” rule and kickoff modifications, the NFL is leveraging data in an effort to improve player safety and evolve the game. “This information is driving important on-field changes, such as the new lowering the head rule, and also discussions with coaches and team personnel about how we teach and coach these various techniques of play,” said Dr. Sills.

Refining the Rules

this season’s health
and safety related rule changes

This spring, the NFL Competition Committee met to vote on significant rule changes with the goal to improve player health and safety on the field. Watch the video below to learn more about the specific changes that were made.

Watch Video

three
new rules
in 2018

Post Touchback Snap

This rule makes permanent the playing rule that changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 24-yard line.

Use of the Helmet

It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. It is a penalty that will result in the loss of 15 yards. If the foul is by the defense, it is also an automatic first down. The player may be disqualified.

Kickoff Play

Modifies the kickoff play for one year only.

The comprehensive review of the 2015-2017 injury data showed that the kickoff represented only 6% of plays but 12% of concussions.

The changes to the kickoff rule addressed the components that posed the most risk, like the use of a two-man wedge, while maintaining the play.

Teamwork is
important on and
off of the field.

Working as a team to keep
the players healthy.

Teamwork is important on the field, but it’s also important that the NFL works as a team with a wide variety of health and safety experts to keep improving the game. This year, the NFL continued its work with the NFL Players Association, NFL Physicians Society, Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, as well as the numerous experts on the NFL’s medical committees to identify and implement changes intended to make the game safer for everyone.

The Team Behind The Team

meet the team on hand at every NFL game

There’s a specialized squad of medical professionals, including team physicians, unaffiliated medical staff, and physicians from the local area, who watch the field for potential injuries and are available to provide immediate care at every NFL game. For the 2018 season, the NFL added a third Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant (UNC) for each game to monitor the broadcast video and audio feeds of each game and notify on-field UNCs or the athletic trainer spotters of possible head, neck or spine injuries.

Watch Video

Medical Committees

the full roster of
experts

Specialists in a wide variety of disciplines relevant to player health and safety volunteer their time to explore groundbreaking research and make recommendations for how the League can continually improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of injuries as well as invest in scientific research to promote player health and safety.

The NFL medical committees meet throughout the year to review player health and injury data and consider what policies, programs and protocols should be adopted by the League and encourage areas of scientific research. Meet the team of experts behind the team.

the full roster
of experts

Nicholas
Theodore

MD, FACS,
FAANS

Julian
Bailes

MD

Ronnie
Barnes

ATC

Mitch
Berger

MD, FACS,
FAANS

Javier
Cardenas

MD

James
Collins

ATC

Joseph
Maroon

MD

Wellington
Hsu

MD

Russell
Lonser

MD

Elizabeth
Pieroth

PSYD

Margot
Putukian

MD, FACSM

Thom
Mayer

MD, FACEP,
FAAP

Leigh
Ann Curl

MD

Robert
Cantu

MD

Medical Committees

the nfl head, neck and
spine committee heads
up the team

The NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee is composed of independent and NFL-affiliated medical professionals who focus on neurological issues relevant to the health and safety of active NFL players. In 2018, the NFL welcomed Dr. Nicholas Theodore M.D., M.S. as the new Chairman of the Head, Neck and Spine Committee.

meet the
committee’s
chairman

Dr. Theodore is the new Chairman of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee and the director of the Johns Hopkins Neurosurgical Spine Center. A nationally recognized expert in brain and spinal cord injury, minimally invasive spine surgeries and robotics, he most recently served as the Volker K.H. Sonntag Endowed Professor and chief of the Division of Spinal Disorders at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

Concussion Protocol

the new game day
concussion checklist

The on-site medical team on game day follows a specific and rigorous protocol when encountering concussions on the field. The NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee—a board of independent and NFL-affiliated physicians and scientists, including medical advisors for the NFL Players Association—developed the NFL Game Day Concussion Diagnosis and Management Protocol in 2011. The Concussion Protocol is reviewed each year in an effort to ensure players are receiving care that reflects the most up-to-date medical consensus on the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of concussions. This year, the NFL Concussion Diagnosis and Management Protocol was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which marked the first sports league protocol of its kind to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

return to
participation
protocol

Every NFL player diagnosed with a concussion must follow a five-step process before being cleared to fully practice or participate in an NFL game. This process, developed from internationally accepted guidelines, ensures that each player receives consistent treatment.

After a player has progressed through the five-step process, and is cleared for full participation by his club physician, he must be seen and separately cleared by an Independent Neurological Consultant (INC), jointly approved by the NFL and NFLPA, who is not affiliated with any NFL club. Until cleared by this independent physician, a player may not return to contact practice or play in an NFL game.

ongoing
training
efforts

In 2018, the NFL held three medical trainings in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Chicago, and the League has expanded the number of attendees to include all Team Physicians, Athletic Trainers, booth ATC spotters, Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultants (UNC), Independent Neurological Consultants (INC) and neuropsychologists.

These trainings are an opportunity for us to learn, to discuss together, to figure out how we can improve our communication and our collaboration. The spirit is really how can we leverage our skills and our experience as a group, to improve player health and safety for our 32 clubs. Dr. Allen Sills
NFL Chief Medical Officer

Looking Ahead

A Lifetime
Commitment to
Our Players

The NFL seeks to support a lifetime of health and opportunity beyond football with resources that offer healthcare, education and career benefits for not only the players but their families as well.

lifetime benefits for
former players

the NFL
player care
foundation

National Football League recognizes the enormous contributions former players made to the development and success of America’s favorite sport -- NFL football. To acknowledge and express appreciation for their contributions, the NFL Owners, in partnership with the NFL Players Association, Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL Alumni Association, created the NFL Player Care Foundation (PCF) in September 2007.

Visit the Player care foundation website
We are eager to continue our ongoing commitment to support former players through a variety of programs, from pension and other post-retirement financial benefits to life insurance and savings plans to health benefits and counseling services. Roger Goodell
NFL Commissioner

supporting head health
research to advance
science and medicine.

A $40 million investment in
the future of head health

As part of the Play Smart. Play Safe. initiative, the National Football League allotted $100 million for medical research and engineering advancements, including $40 million in funding for medical research over the next five years, primarily dedicated to neuroscience.

The NFL's Scientific Advisory Board

Research led
by renowned
leadership

The NFL assembled a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)—chaired by Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army General (Retired)—comprising leading independent researchers, experts, doctors, scientists and clinicians to develop and lead a clear process to identify and support compelling proposals for scientific research to be funded.

additional
board members

sidney
hinds

MD, MC, Col.

David
Hovda

PhD

David J.
Shulkin

MD

Douglas
H. Smith

MD

Shelly D.
Timmons

MD, PhD

In September 2017, the SAB opened a funding opportunity. The SAB’s goal was to seek innovative translational research being conducted by investigative teams focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) and associated comorbid conditions, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), in addition to the natural history of concussion and associated comorbid conditions.

01

Prevalence of Brain Health versus Neurodegeneration in Professional Football Retirees

University of Pittsburgh and UPMC

This study aims to understand whether the rates of brain health and neurodegeneration in living professional football retirees compared to a matched control group are similar or different. The study is designed, with scientific and statistical rigor, to advance the goal of understanding the long-term impact of concussive injury and other types of traumatic brain injury. The study team is composed of Pitt/UPMC physician-scientists who have extensive experience in the field, having conducted clinical trials in veterans exposed to blast injuries and treated numerous neurological injuries sustained as a result of athletic activities, giving them unique and invaluable insight into traumatic brain injuries and how to study them. (Description provided by: University of Pittsburgh and UPMC)

02

A Prospective, Longitudinal and Translational Study for Former National Football League Players

Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, William P. Meehan III, MD

With the goal of determining the neurologic health outcomes associated with concussion and sub-concussive exposure among former NFL players, Boston Children’s Hospital has received a 5-year grant of $14.7 million from the NFL to conduct a comprehensive neurologic health assessment and track the progress of former NFL players. In addition, the study will conduct laboratory experiments of 4 potential therapies for the neurological effects of repeated brain trauma. (Description provided by: Boston Children’s Hospital)

03

Surveillance in High Schools to Reduce Concussions and Consequences of Concussions in Youth–SHRed Concussions

University of Calgary, Carolyn Emery, PhD, Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology and Integrated Concussion Research Program

This Pan-Canadian research program will involve a three-year longitudinal study to evaluate concussion diagnostic tools, prognostic indicators, and prevention and management strategies in youth, who account for over half of the annual burden of more than three million concussions in North America. (Credit: University of Calgary)

04

Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI Longitudinal)

University of California – San Francisco, Geoff Manley, MD, PhD

To treat and cure disease, we must understand its natural history and evolution, and the factors that underlie resolution or exacerbation. Advances in cardiovascular disease (CVD) can be credited directly to the Framingham Heart Study, designed to follow the same cohort over years, uncovering risk factors and ways to mitigate and treat those risks, a strategy that has paid global public health dividends. Like CVD, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a complex pathophysiological process that can have life-long consequences. Unlike CVD, we do not fully understand TBI’s natural history. (Credit: University of California – San Francisco)

05

The Spectrum of Concussion: Predictors of Clinical Recovery, Treatment and Rehabilitation, and Possible Long-Term Effects

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Grant Iverson, PhD

Dr. Iverson is leading a multidisciplinary team of experts from the United States, Canada, and Australia to conduct transformative research across the spectrum of concussion in collision sports such as football, hockey, rugby and more. The team will examine acute effects, functional recovery, treatment and rehabilitation for youth who are slow to recover, possible long-term effects on brain health, and rehabilitation of retired amateur athletes. (Credit: Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital)

2017 Grants

new grants for
neuroscience

In 2017, the NFL granted a series of contributions to support government-funded research on traumatic brain injury and concussion, and provide insights on neurodegenerative diseases, including CTE, as well as other cognitive impairments related to aging.

01

the advancement
of neuroscience

The NFL announced the dispersal of the remaining $16.3 million of the original $30 million investment that was allocated to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). While there was interest in continuing to fund valuable scientific research through the FNIH, the five-year agreement with the FNIH ended on August 31st, 2017.

These research initiatives represent important scientific projects, with proven track records of achievement that affect public health. Each of these research programs receives substantial federal funding. Through this commitment, the League hopes to advance the understanding of concussion and other brain injuries, especially among athletes and veterans.

02

department
of defense

$7.65 million to the Department of Defense: In collaboration with the NCAA, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) created the Concussion Assessment Research and Education (“CARE”) Consortium Grand Alliance in 2014. This program monitors all athletes for concussive injuries at 30 university sites. To date, the investigators have collected information on more than 2000 concussions from 30,000 enrolled athletes and cadets. The investigators will follow this injured population prospectively in an effort to understand the effect of concussions on this very significantly sized population. This study has been funded by the NCAA and the DoD.

Visit The Care Consortium Website

03

supporting
track-tbi

$7.65 million to support TRACK-TBI (Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in TBI): This NIH funded study at 18 sites around the United States collects detailed information on patients with head injuries and their outcomes. The study uses advanced imaging techniques and collects significant biological information as well. TRACK-TBI has currently enrolled more than 2,300 TBI patients. All of the information collected will be available to be used by investigators to advance research into important questions in neuroscience.

LEARN MORE ABOUT TRACK TBI
04

national institute
of aging

$2.25 million to support the National Institute of Aging: The National Institute of Aging (NIA) is the branch of the NIH focused on aging processes and age-related diseases. The NIA currently has multiple ongoing research programs on cognitive aging, as well as diagnosis, causes, treatment and prevention of many forms of dementia. This grant will be unrestricted for the use of the NIA to support the Institute’s scientific research on dementia and cognitive function. The grant amount to the NIA combines funds that were being held by the FNIH and then redirected at the NFL’s request as well as an additional $1 million contribution to the NIA.

We want to share
our knowledge with
the future.

THE NFL’S COMMITMENT TO PLAYER HEALTH & SAFETY GOES FAR BEYOND THE LEAGUE

It spans all ages, levels, and sports. Across the country, the NFL and its various partners, including USA Football, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the Korey Stringer Institute, and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, are sharing best practices with coaches, parents and players.

The NFL Foundation

TOUCHING THE
BROADER FOOTBALL
COMMUNITY

The NFL Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football. The NFL Foundation- in conjunction with the NFL’s 32 clubs - supports the health, safety and wellness of athletes across all levels, including youth football and the communities that support the game.

ATHLETIC TRAINER GRANT PROGRAM

giving students
access to an
important resource

Financial realities for schools often means that many schools unfortunately don’t have sufficient funding to afford athletic trainers. The NFL Foundation is working to change this through grant programs designed to increase access to athletic trainers for young athletes in the community. Twenty-two NFL clubs have utilized this funding to support local schools and leagues. Since 2014, the NFL Foundation along with these clubs have provided more than $3.25 million to expand access to athletic trainers.

expanding
access

Recently, the NFL Foundation, in collaboration with Gatorade, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the Korey Stringer Institute and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society launched a pilot program to award grants to public high schools in four states—Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma and Oregon. The Foundation committed more than $2.5 million, awarded in multi-year grants, to 75 schools to help fund athletic training programs. The grants have allowed the schools to enhance sports health and safety for student athletes.

better fields in
underserved areas

This past year, the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, provided grants to 14 cities to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of football fields in underserved areas. Grants totaled more than $3 million to build or refurbish neighborhood football fields. Since 1998, the NFL Foundation has provided nearly $61 million to revitalize 517 fields nationwide for youth athletics.

  • Grants totaled more than $3 million to build or refurbish neighborhood football fields.
  • Since 1998, the NFL Foundation has provided nearly $61 million to revitalize 517 fields for youth athletics.

usa football
grant programs

The NFL Foundation supports USA Football and its work in providing youth and scholastic programs with financial help through a variety of grant programs for equipment, fields and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

Heads Up Football

USA Football's Heads Up Football program eclipsed 10,000 youth and school-based program enrollments in consecutive years for the first time in 2017-18, extending an important commitment to education and player safety across the grassroots sports community.

NFL Flag

For the second consecutive year, NFL FLAG Kits were distributed to an additional 4,700 schools nationwide in 2018, reaching approximately 2.6 million new students this year. The NFL FLAG-In-Schools Program aims to increase physical activity of youth by providing flag football resources to underserved communities.

Football Development model (FDM)

In partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Football has taken a leadership role in the design and creation of a developmental framework for the sport.

There is no higher priority for the NFL than player health and safety. We continually seek to raise our standards and then surpass them. Roger Goodell
NFL Commissioner