Wednesday's health and safety news from the world of sports:
* The Detroit Lions players say they don't want a shorter preseason, something that has been advocated for their safety, the Detroit Free Press reported. Among those who talked about it was wide receiver Michael Spurlock.
"Me, as an undrafted guy, a guy that's trying to make the team, I like the four games because if you do two games, you really only got one shot to show your stuff," said Spurlock, now with the Detroit Lions. "Is that really telling who you are? For guys that are vested, guys that, 'Hey, I know what my role is,' they don't need it because there's so many injuries and there's more opportunity to get injured. â¦ But it's a terrific thing to have the preseason for the young guys."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell long has championed for a shorter exhibition season, with the possibility of 18 regular-season games and two exhibition games. Few players support that idea because of the wear and tear on their bodies.
"NFL leadership talks about making the game safer, safer, safer, you're talking two sides of the spectrum if you say you want to make the game safer but we want to add two more games," Lions defensive end Israel Idonije said. "You shorten guys' careers."
Idonije, like Spurlock, said he likes the exhibition season as is, with four games and about four weeks of training camp leading up to the regular season.
"I think the system they have now is good," Idonije said. "It allows the older guys to get enough work, and it allows a platform for the younger guys to showcase, to develop and get some in-game action 'cause the speed of the game's a little different than what you see in practice. So I think the four-game formula, preseason, perfect."
"He's always generous with his time, he's great with kids, he continually participates in Community Tuesday initiatives ... he was a regular ambassador for our Celebrate Volunteerism campaign," said team owner Robert Kraft. "We knew the day we drafted him he was going to be special. He has played on offense, defense, and now is two-time captain of our special teams."
Slater, a fifth-round pick in 2008, said the honor was totally unexpected.
"I'm very humbled and very thankful to the Kraft family and our organization for taking a chance on a kid that had a tough career at best there and helped fulfill a childhood dream of playing in the NFL," Slater said. "It's truly an honor."
* The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat wrote a staff editorial on the efforts in its community to stave off concussions.
* The Philadelphia Inquirer's Sports Doc Blog looked at the safety aspect of mouth guards.
* Researchers from San Diego State announced they have invented a software package and a balance board to diagnose concussions.
* NBC Washington looked at the introduction of Heads Up Football in the Fairfax County (Va.) area high schools.
* Maryland Gazette looked at baseline concussion testing in its communities.
* The Helena Independent Record reported on the baseline concussion testing in this Montana city.
* The Winona (Minn.) Daily News reported on what area kids are doing to train in the heat.
-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor