NFL Donates $30M to Study Brain Injuries It's the league's biggest ever donation By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Sep 5, 2012 1:45 PM CDT 7 comments Comments This 2009 file photo shows Philadelphia Eagles tight end L.J. Smith holding his head after a hard hit. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File) (Newser) – The NFL is putting money behind its pledge to get a handle on brain injuries after years of taking relatively little action. The league gave $30 million to the National Institutes of Health today to fund research and "lead the way" on the issue, said NFL chief Roger Goodell. The move comes amid a slew of lawsuits by former players and an ever-increasing body of knowledge about the long-term dangers of hits to the head. (Even lifelong fans are getting antsy about watching.) The $30 million is the league's biggest-ever donation, reports the Washington Post—though it wouldn't cover Peyton Manning's salary for two full seasons. It also coincides with the start of the regular season, as the Cowboys and Eagles play tonight. See Bleacher Report for a preview of that game and all things football-related.