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NFL, NCAA doctors working together to prevent injuries

Medical professionals from the NFL and the NCAA are collaborating to reduce injuries across the sport of football.

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL's chief medical officer, and Jeff Miller, the NFL's executive vice president for health and safety initiatives, spent Monday and Tuesday of this week at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis sharing data between the two organizations.

"We're able to show them what we're working on and what we're finding and how we're applying that knowledge into the day-to-day care of professional athletes," Sills told The Associated Press. "I think we hope this is the start of even more regular interaction between the two organizations because we share the exact same goals, which is improving the health and safety of players."

The meetings consisted of the NFL's health and safety team, the NCAA's Sport Science Institute and medical professionals from each of the Power 5 conferences. While one may assume the focus was on the game's existential threat -- head injuries -- the NFL's staff is focused on reducing lower-body injuries. (Concussions dropped 24 percent, from 281 to 214, during the 2018 NFL season.)

"We're taking a very, I think, comprehensive approach to understanding foot, ankle or knee injuries and the contributing aspects of that," Miller said. "I think, we are looking at the performance of certain cleats; their traction; how easily they release from different turf surfaces; how much different turf surfaces contribute to potential injuries; how we train our athletes, the load they go through on a daily basis or through a training camp and whether that correlates with particular sprains or strains."

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