The National Football League has suffered its fair share of scary moments on the field this year.
Tua Tagovailoa's concussion in Week 4 against the Bengals in Cincinnati drew national criticism, but Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest on the same field Monday night has garnered worldwide prayer.
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The game is much different than when Eric Dickerson played – helmet-to-helmet tackles and hits to defenseless players are illegal. However, no matter what rule changes there are, injuries are unavoidable.
Despite the scary nature of Hamlin's health, Dickerson said he must give the NFL credit where credit is due.
“The game is violent anyway. That's never going to change…” Dickerson told Fox News Digital in a recent interview when asked if he thinks the game has grown too violent. “[My mother] said it's unnatural for a person to run into each other full speed. She said that's an unnatural act like a car wreck. And it is true. It's like a car wreck, you know, it is unnatural. It will always be physical…
“But I'll say towards the league, I think they've done the best job that I think they possibly can to protect the players. I give them credit. I'll give credit where credit is due. I really do.”
BILLS' DAMAR HAMLIN HAS SHOWN ‘SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT,' STILL IN CRITICAL CONDITION, TEAM SAYS
Dickerson cited the rule changes as well as advances to equipment – the NFL has adopted new policies for the health and safety of their players in just about every new collective bargaining agreement.
Even this year, when Tagovailoa was hospitalized with his first concussion of the year, the NFL made changes to its concussion protocol when a player would not be able to return to a game if they showed gross motor skills, otherwise known as ataxia.
In 2017, there were 281 reported concussions by the NFL. Last season, that number was down to 187. However, last year saw 71 ACL tears, the most recorded by the NFL since 2015.
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Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle on Tee Higgins. He stood up after the hit, but collapsed shortly after, and medical staff performed CPR for over nine minutes before he was taken off the field and went to a local hospital in an ambulance.
The Bills said he has shown “signs of improvement” and is expected to remain under intensive care.