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Steelers' neurosurgeon says riding bike more dangerous than youth football

Updated:

PITTSBURGH - Dr. Joseph Maroon, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ neurosurgeon and consultant of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee, appeared on NFL Network Tuesday to talk about chronic traumatic encephalopathy.


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 Maroon says he believes long-term neurological damage from hits to the head is over-exaggerated.

“I think the problem of CTE, although real, it’s being over-exaggerated and it’s being extrapolated to youth football and to high school football,” Maroon said on Tuesday’s "NFL Total Access."

  • CLICK HERE to watch the entire interview on NFL.com.

Maroon went onto say that riding bicycles is more dangerous to kids than playing football.

“It’s a rare phenomenon. We have no idea the incidence.  There are more injuries to kids from falling off of bikes, scooters, falling in playgrounds, than there are in youth football,” he said.

Maroon, a board-certified clinical professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, acknowledged there’s room for improvement. 

“Again, it’s never been safer. Can we improve?  Yes. We have to do better all the time to make it safer,” Maroon said. “But I think if a kid is physically able to do it and wants to do it, I think our job is to continue to make it safer.  But it’s much more dangerous riding a bike or a skateboard than playing youth football.”