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Under new concussion guidelines, players will be removed from field area, excused from media availability

Hines Ward

The league’s revised approach to concussions will include a pair of much-needed provisions.

We’re told that any player who is diagnosed with a concussion must be declared as having a concussion and removed from the playing area.  In other words, teams won’t be able to label a guy who has had a concussion as having a “neck” injury (like Steelers receiver Hines Ward against the Patriots) and permit him to hang around the bench area as if he possibly could return to the game.  Instead, he’ll be taken to the locker room, and that’s where he’ll stay.

Also, we’re told that any player who is diagnosed with a concussion or who has concussion symptoms will not be made available to the media after the game, like Vikings quarterback Brett Favre after he suffered a concussion when striking his head on the frozen broccoli of TCF Bank Stadium.  In other words, we won’t be seeing hearing anyone shouting “Hue!” after taking a helmet to the ear hole.

These are good and prudent changes, and the league needs to keep striving for better ways to identify players who have possibly suffered concussions and to get them off the field.

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16 Responses to “Under new concussion guidelines, players will be removed from field area, excused from media availability”
  1. skoobyfl says: Feb 23, 2011 8:54 PM

    In the old days, you sucked it up & return to the field to earn the owner more money.

  2. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Feb 23, 2011 8:55 PM

    Can this new policy be aplied to head coaches as well?

    Because I for one would love to be spared from hearing any more press conferences from the pretty feet filming, lap band wearing, F-bomb dropping, Super Bowl predicting, overeating, drool dripping fetish perv.

  3. asmodean13 says: Feb 23, 2011 9:01 PM

    You mean the league is actually doin somethin to prevent the steelers from being their normal cheating selves. Call guiness.

  4. cincinnasti says: Feb 23, 2011 9:09 PM

    I love how the Bengals are the butt of every joke here lately. Very funny. Seriously. It’s well deserved..

  5. freedomispopular says: Feb 23, 2011 9:15 PM

    On the one hand, I don’t care for nanny-state-like rules like this. These guys make hundreds of thousands if not millions of $ a year. If they want to play and put their future at stake, let them. But on the other hand, think of the backlash from the fans and media if a star player got a concussion, for health’s/family’s/etc. sake chose not to go back in. This would eliminate that scenario.

  6. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: Feb 23, 2011 9:28 PM

    Mike did you have Broccoli for dinner?

  7. assnfootball says: Feb 23, 2011 9:36 PM

    I was going to give you a hard time on why the new guidelines isn’t noteworthy news. But some people will find this informative.

    Thumbs down if you think this is newsworthy.

  8. goldsteel says: Feb 23, 2011 9:41 PM

    I sounds more like the appearance of concern rather actual concern. Concussion diagnosis still a gray area no pun intended. What if a player is just dazed or stunned? Is that a concussion? Why can’t the player sit on the bench and clear his head?

    Is this for the player or for the appearance of the league? With Roger Goodell as commissioner the answer if obvious.

  9. thejuddstir says: Feb 23, 2011 10:38 PM

    The league has put players safety and in particular concussions, on the fast track becuz they know within a few years there will be more concrete evidence on concussions that will raise a huge liability issue for the NFL……meaning big bucks lawsuits are coming. The league will try to mitigate those lawsuits by claiming that they made rule changes as soon as scientific evidence became available to them.

  10. *Legion* says: Feb 23, 2011 11:08 PM

    It won’t matter if the team doctors are the ones doing the diagnosing. They have a strong economic incentive to downgrade their in-game diagnoses to non-concussions.

    If you want to fix the problem, the league needs to put a 3rd party doctor on the sidelines at every game.

    Why? For the same reason boxing has a ringside doctor and doesn’t rely on the medical opinions of a fighter’s corner.

  11. msadpoet says: Feb 24, 2011 2:05 AM

    Player safety should be a priority for the NFL. Their greatest asset is getting to a point where fans know the players who are on the field can play healthy, not with an injury that could end their career.

  12. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Feb 24, 2011 5:07 AM

    Can’t wait for the league to show how concerned they are for player safety……during the 17th and 18th games of the season.

  13. jc1958cool says: Feb 24, 2011 7:37 AM

    the team with the hardest head will win!

  14. biggerballz says: Feb 24, 2011 8:57 AM

    how about putting the players in bubble wrap so they can make the popping noise when they tackle! Ditka is rolling over in his grave.

  15. godofwine330 says: Feb 24, 2011 2:05 PM

    All is well and good in that theory until something like this happens in a late season “must win” game or the playoffs. It’s okay for Jay Cutler, but for the rest of the league that you have to drag them kicking and screaming off the field it won’t play well. Game1, okay. Game 8, fine. But game 15-20, fugetaboutit.

  16. ybo1 says: Feb 24, 2011 4:02 PM

    No matter how much money they are paid, a lot of good it will do them if 5 – 10 years after they quit playing football they can’t get sick because of too many concussions. I think this is a good thing. Football does not last forever. Health is more important than money. Money can’t buy back brain cells.

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