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2,138 -- That's the number of former NFL players suing the league in dozens of brain-injury lawsuits now consolidated into a single federal case. The big number suggests the magnitude of the league's problem. In recent years research has shown that repeated blows to the head can lead to depression, early dementia and other woes. Players and organizers at every level of America's most popular sport should pay close attention. No matter how the lawsuit turns out, football will have to change to better protect those on the field.


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