Injured football player’s helmet failed to register serious hit

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A high school football player in California remains in an induced coma after suffering a hard hit during a game, school officials said.

The hit has brought new attention to football safety after a sensor on the player’s helmet failed to register the serious hit.

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Josh Nava, 17, a senior at Riverside Polytechnic High School, was injured during a Friday game, school officials said.

The injury happened when Nava made what appeared to be a routine tackle during the third quarter, school officials said, noting that Nava was slow to stand and wobbled to the sidelines, where he collapsed, flopping under a bench. He was rushed to hospital and had emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and pressure on his brain.

At the time of the hit, Nava was wearing a helmet containing Riddell’s InSite Impact Response System — rimmed with sensors that alert coaches on the sidelines to hits that could cause brain injuries.



In Nava’s case, his helmet’s sensor did not go off, the school district said.

“That censor is in there to kind of monitor the severity of certain impacts and also the frequency of certain impacts as well,” Riverside Unified School District Public Information Officer Justin Grayson said.

Riddell released a statement, expressing wishes for Nava’s full recovery.

“Since few facts are known, it would be inappropriate for us to speculate on the circumstances surrounding the incident,” Riddell said in the statement.

Nava remains in an induced coma and the bleeding in his brain has stopped — and he has begun breathing on his own, his brother Luis Nava said.

“He’s a fighter, I know he’s going to make it,” Luis Nava said.