By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- Max Lane manned the Patriots offensive line for seven seasons, including starting in Super Bowl XXXI, before retiring at age 29. Since then, he's focused largely on studying health concerns of professional football players and raising awareness for the long-term issues that arise from the weekly pounding of an NFL grind.
Now, Lane, a Newburyport native, has joined Harvard University's Football Players Health Study as a player advisor. He said that the study attracted him due to its aim to improve the game of football, rather than cast aspersions on it for the health risks involved in playing.
"Once I found what their approach was - I was dealing with the whole thing, I wasn't dealing with just another concussion study - I thought it was something I wanted to be involved with. Also, it wasn't about attacking the game," Lane told the Newburyport News.
Lane has been active in various charity organizations and events in Massachusetts since retiring, founding his own To The Max Foundation and volunteering to support charities such as the Boston Bruins Foundation. Local media personality and former Boston College and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Steve DeOssie is also part of the Harvard Football Players Health Study.
Ultimately, Lane wants to help the study discover new ways to improve the health conditions of football and reduce the long-term effects the game can have on former players, not just concussions but all kinds of injuries. He wants to make the game better and safer for up-and-coming generations of players, which include his own son.
"Setting the tone of looking into the overall health of a player, as opposed to just one aspect, is going to be important for future generations," Lane says in a video on the study's website. "I have an eighth grader who is playing. Maybe this study can lead to me being more educated about what to pass on to him in his high school years."
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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