The chin strap buttoned to the helmet of BenJarvus Green-Ellis will not be like everyone else's on Sunday. His will give him more of an R2-D2 look, flashing a green light most of the time, and maybe ‒ hopefully not, but maybe ‒ a red light sometimes, too.
Green-Ellis will be outfitted with a special chin strap from Battle Sports Science, designed to monitor the impact that a player's head absorbs throughout a game. Here's more on how it works, via NFL.com:
The chin strap "measures the G-force and duration sustained by a football player's head during player and signals the probability of concussion," according to the company's press release. Once a player sustains a hit measured at 240 Head Injury Criterion (HIC) levels a red light begins to flash on the chin strap alerting coaches, players and officials to a possible injury.
Battle Sports Science worked with biomedical engineers at Detroit's Wayne State University, who developed the HIC system. The Bioengineering center determined that a hit measuring 240 HICs has a 50 percent probability of a possible concussion.
I love the idea behind the chin strap and I think it could be a fantastic tool for helping high school and youth football players be more aware of the pounding they're taking. In the Super Bowl, though? Maybe not such a good idea.
A handful of players are on record as saying that they'll hide concussions to stay in games. This is the Super Bowl. If BenJarvus Green-Ellis feels like he can play, then it's probably not going to matter if his chin strap measures 15,825 HICs and it starts flashing all colors of the rainbow and playing the theme from Knight Rider.
What's he going to do, go to Bill Belichick and say, "Coach, my chin strap measured over 140 HICs and is flashing red, so I can't go back in."? I'm sure that'll go over well.
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I don't think that's the point here, though. Hopefully, Green-Ellis wearing this thing on Sunday can increase awareness of the device, and get it into the hands of kids it will help protect.