Denver's Eric Decker comforts students after school shooting

Monday's health and safety news from the world of football:

* The Denver Post profiled Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker, who comforted Arapahoe High School students after the recent shooting at the school. Decker lived through a similar incident while going to high school in Minnesota.


"We didn't know what to think," said Decker, who hid for 45 minutes after the 2003 shooting of two students at his Minnesota high school. "Every girl was crying, every guy was trying to stay calm, and when they came and got us, we had to go across the street to the elementary school with our hands up. You see snipers on the top of the buildings, it's just surreal. That moment, you'll never forget.


"It changes your life in a second."


In the days after the Dec. 13 shooting at Arapahoe High, Decker recorded a video message to the school's students.


It was shown at an assembly, in the cafeteria and on the school's website. He spoke of unity, of grieving, of perseverance. Decker is a Bronco, but to many, he's now an Arapahoe Warrior.


"I just felt a connection," said sophomore Mitchell Pennetta, who, as Decker does for the Broncos, wears No. 87 for the Arapahoe football team. "It's been kind of hard to go through this -- you never think it's going to happen to your school, but then it does. And to know that somebody else, especially someone as famous as Eric Decker, has gone through something similar, it felt comforting."


* Adolpho Birch, the NFL's senior vice president of labor and law, said the NFL has not changed its stance against marijuana use in light of the narcotic becoming legalized in Colorado and Washington state, HBO Sports reported via Pro Football Talk.com.


In an extensive look at marijuana use in the NFL, Andrea Kremer of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel asks senior V.P. of labor law and policy Adolpho Birch whether a player who believes marijuana helps him with pain management and recovery should smoke it.


"He should not use marijuana," Birch tells Kremer in an advance copy of the broadcast, which debuts on Tuesday, January 21, at 10:00 p.m. ET. "[H]e should consult his team physician or primary physician. If pain management is an issue for him, they can provide him with assistance in that respect."


But what about the players who don't want to use prescription medication, given the potential for addiction and side effects?


"I wouldn't know ... how to respond to them other than to say that the NFL and the NFL Players Association have made a determination that marijuana is not a substance for which the exemptions for that type of use would be permitted," Birch says.


* The Boston Globe looked at the adjustments made this season by New England Patriots wide receiver Austin Collie, whose career has been impacted by numerous concussions.

* The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported on the opening of a new concussion clinic at the University of Virginia.

* A Bronx assemblyman has proposed a bill in the New York state legislature that would ban tackle football for children under 14, WCBS reported.

* Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon talked about his brain injuries during a seminar in Stamford, Conn., the Connecticut Post reported.

* The Tennessean reported that area athletes, parents and coaches are receiving a concussion-law primer as the state's new law begins.

* WCRB-TV also reported on a concussion clinic for Tennessee coaches in Chattanooga.

* The Charlotte Observer reported that Lincoln County schools will start drug testing for student athletes.

* KJCT-TV in Grand Junction, Colo., reported on a concussion conference at Colorado Mesa University. KREX-TV also reported on the seminar.

-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor