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New football equipment aims to reduce concussions

Posted: 6:38 AM, Feb 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-12 09:38:24-05

A parent hopes to change football and make it safer.

Tackle football can leave invisible and deadly scars. Maybe the most well known case of the brain injury known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is former tight end Aaron Hernandez. Research shows tackle after tackle kills brain cells.

"This paper provides the best evidence to date that CTE is triggered not by concussion, not by concussion, rather by hits to the head irregardless of whether it results in concussion or not," said Dr. Lee Goldstein of Boston University.

It's not just for professional athletes. Kids put their young brains at risk too on the field. One dad's solution to this scary fact: the Tacklebar harness. It's a device that slips on over a player's uniform.

"We're not the only ones with this concern. We should work on this. There's a problem here that needs to be solved," said Jeremy Ling, the founder of Tacklebar football.

The old way to finish a tackle forces players all the way to the ground. With this new device, the inventor says all the fundamentals stay the same, but you rip off a foam bar attached to your opponent's back, stopping just short of a violent take down.

"I think our challenge is it's new. So getting it out there and getting it into the market place and getting it used is where we need to empower these coaches to be leaders," said Ling.

Ling brought the product to Las Vegas during a conference for youth football coaches last week. It will be up to local athletic directors to decide whether to invest in this new approach.