Q-Collar gives Bills Klein linebacker a sense of protection

Buffalo Bills linebacker AJ Klein wears a unique protective collar that’s as much a part of his uniform as it is…

Buffalo Bills linebacker AJ Klein wears a unique protective collar that’s as much a part of his uniform as his helmet and shoulder pads.

The Q-Collar is a non-invasive device worn around the neck to help protect the brain from the effects associated with repetitive, sub-concussive head impacts. A plastic band made of a spring steel core slips around the neck. The band exerts approximately 1.2 pounds of pressure on the wearer’s internal jugular vein, which carries oxygen-free blood from the brain to the heart.

Dr. Julian Bailes, a former team physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers, began researching different ways to protect the brain during sports participation more than a decade ago. After being approached by inventor Dr. David Smith, Bailes researched how to protect the brain from the inside out instead of just putting more protective layers around it.

“Knowing that helmets do not prevent concussions and they do not prevent brain damage, helmets protect against skull fractures and, in most cases, brain hemorrhages and facial injuries, but they do not can’t protect against brain damage because the brain can move freely and stretch and twist the fibers, so we looked at it a different way,” Bailes said.

The result was Q-Collar, which received marketing clearance from the FDA in February. Klein has worn it since five-time All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly introduced him when they played together in Carolina.

“I looked at all the research and decided to wear it,” Klein said. “If anything, it’s going to make me feel safer, more protected. It’s really weird now. If I don’t wear it when I’m in the field, I feel a bit naked. So it’s one of those things that I’ve adapted to and feel like I have to wear one.

Two-time Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis started wearing one after suffering multiple concussions.

“Once I was introduced, I wore it all the time,” said Davis, who played for San Francisco, Denver and Washington from 2006-19. “I wore it when I was riding my bike. Anyway, if I had to do something with physical activity, I wore it.

LEADERS IN SPORT AWARDS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the recipients of the 2021 Inclusion Award for the team’s efforts as a leader in gender equality.

The announcement was made at Twickenham Stadium in London during the 7th annual Leaders Sports Awards banquet, celebrating organizations that push boundaries and lead by example across the sports industry.

“Establishing a culture of inclusivity is important to the team and our belief in supporting opportunities for people of all backgrounds,” Bucs co-owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz said.

Leaders in Sport evaluated projects and initiatives that promote inclusion, equality and diversity, and appeal to communities regardless of age, sexuality, gender, disability, religion or belief. The group cited the Bucs as “the epitome of the inclusion category”.

“Thanks to the team and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation, their programs have created change in a male-dominated industry, demonstrating how football is a game for everyone, regardless of gender. The Inclusion Award is designed to celebrate and reward those who have challenged the norm in sport…” noted the organization.

Under Kassewitz’s leadership, the Buccaneers established the Jr. Bucs Girls Flag Football League, Tampa’s first women’s flag football league, and the Jr. Bucs School Program, the largest school program in team history. , reaching nearly 200,000 students in 300 schools. across Tampa Bay.

Last year, the Buccaneers launched the Girls in Football Scholarship, becoming the first NFL team to create a college scholarship for high school students who play football and pursue sports careers.

CATCH BRADY

So now that Tom Brady holds the NFL record for passing yards, who’s in line to catch him?

Nobody, really.

Getting over 80,000 yards through the air could be, well, a reach, according to Sidelines, which analyzed each quarterback’s average season data.

The closest is Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, who would need about five more seasons to get there. Struggling this season, Big Ben is more likely to retire after 2021.

Matt Ryan, part of a rebuilding Atlanta Falcons team, would also need five years. At least Ryan would only be 40 then; Roethlisberger is expected to continue playing until he turns 43.

Aaron Rodgers needs around six seasons, which would also put him at 43. At least Rodgers still seems to be in his prime.

It’s a long way for Russell Wilson (12 seasons), Patrick Mahomes (14) and Dak Prescott (15), but at least they’re at or nearing their peak.

Then again, Brady could put that record in six figures.

AUTISM CHALLENGE

The Philadelphia Eagles Autism Foundation and the 2021 Eagles Autism Challenge have raised more than $2.7 million for autism research and care, thanks to donors from 15 countries, 1,850 participants, and 12,819 donations.

All funds raised by participants will be directed to autism research and programs.

Since the Eagles Autism Challenge’s first year in 2018, 36 countries and 76,788 donations have contributed to the more than $12 million raised.

“We all clearly know the passion Eagles fans have for their football team,” says team owner Jeffrey Lurie, “but more importantly, I’ve discovered over the years that it’s their generosity. , their empathy and commitment to important causes like this. that truly define them. The progress we have made – which has positively impacted so many families around the world – would not be possible without our fans and supporters of the Eagles Autism Foundation. As we reflect on this incredible year, we also look forward to a future of endless possibilities thanks to the support we are so fortunate to have.

Participants had the opportunity to choose from three cycling routes in addition to a 5 km run/walk and a family sensory walk. Fans who wanted to fundraise but couldn’t ride, run or walk had the option to register as virtual participants.

“While this past year and a half has presented us all with many unique challenges, the one constant that remains has been the unwavering dedication to our mission by everyone who has embarked on this journey with us,” said Ryan Hammond, Executive Director of Eagles. Autism Foundation. “Every dollar raised by the Eagles Autism Foundation is reinvested in cutting-edge autism research and care at the best medical institutions in North America.”

The Eagles Autism Foundation invites researchers to apply for a grant to support basic and clinical research in autism, studies focusing on affected individuals and families, and various model systems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 54 people living in the United States is on the autism spectrum.

FRANKS OF THE FALCONS GET THE LOOK

Atlanta Falcons coach Arthur Smith isn’t hiding the fact he’s following division rival New Orleans’ lead in using Taysom Hill as he explores the versatility of backup quarterback Feleipe Franks.

Just as the Saints used Hill, the Falcons gave Franks a brief look at the tight end of the rookie’s first action in the team’s only win so far, at the New York Giants. On the active roster for the first time, Franks played two tight end snaps. He also took a snap at quarterback, passing the baton.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Franks got away on some quarterback runs in the preseason. Smith described the former Arkansas and Florida quarterback as “one hell of an athlete.”

Franks signed with Atlanta as an undrafted rookie. Smith said the idea of ​​using Franks in other positions has “sort of evolved.”

“I think New Orleans kind of set the stage for everybody, and everybody’s looking for that guy,” Smith said. “…Taysom is the only guy I’ve seen who can really play multiple spots. … We’re going to keep kicking the tires, see if that gives us anything, but it’s credit to Feleipe because Feleipe has worked very hard trying to become a professional quarterback.

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AP Pro Football writers Barry Wilner and Rob Maaddi and sportswriter Charles Odum contributed.

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Elizabeth J. Harless