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Bears to use new shoulder pad system

8/1/2011 - NFL Chicago Bears

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears will be the first NFL team to offer players a new shoulder pad system that will allow quicker access to the player if there's a suspected head, spine or chest injury.

Riddell's RipKord Shoulder Pad was introduced in June at the National Athletic Trainer's Association's meeting. It is incorporated into the Riddell CPX shoulder pads.

Bears trainer Tim Bream says removing the shoulder pads and helmet is "a critical aspect of treating severe head, neck and chest injuries" and this gives medical personnel quicker access to the player's chest and airway.