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"Perhaps the bigger issue is that even if football eliminated concussions from the game, CTE would still be a risk for football players just by the nature of getting hit. As research on traumatic brain injury has progressed, it’s starting to look like CTE is actually caused by multiple blows to the head, regardless of whether they were hard enough to cause a full-blown concussion. A helmet—or neck brace—by its very existence is an admission that players are still taking potentially dangerous hits to the head.
“The more the focus is on concussion, the less likely there will be any meaningful change to the research or the safety of the sport,” says Robert Stern, a neurologist at Boston University."