The NFL-backed research will probe a variety of issues related to brain injuries, including potential links between head trauma and neurodegenerative disorders later in life. Retired players have sued the NFL, arguing it gave insufficient warning of the dangers of head trauma — a claim the league denies.
The NIH will also look into concussions, sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes and heat- and hydration-related illness and injury, according to a press release.
"Our goal is to aggressively partner with the best scientists to understand more about the brain and brain injuries, to make things safer for our athletes and for others," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told The Washington Post.
"If we can learn more about the brain, we can not only make football safer, but make things safer for other sports and other walks of life."