There’s some good news regarding the procedures for identifying concussions during games. Specifically, the league realizes more work needs to be done.
The bad news is that the league will address the situation by foisting even more work on guys who already have plenty to do: Game officials will be asked to keep their eyes open for players who possibly have suffered concussions.
“The NFL Injury and Safety Panel met in New York on Tuesday and discussed a variety of subjects, including further steps that can be taken with respect to concussion awareness,” the league said in a statement released to the media. “Our game officials will receive concussion awareness training and will remain alert to possible concussions during games. This week’s training tape for the game officials will identify concussion signs and symptoms that they should be alert for. If an official believes a player may have suffered a concussion, he should take appropriate steps to alert the team and get medical attention for the player.”
It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not nearly enough. Game officials’ plates are full. Someone needs to be monitoring the field of play for evidence of possibly concussed players with only one job — monitoring the field of play for evidence of possibly concussed players.
Anyone who reads this site on a semi-regular basis knows that PFT has advocated the use of a safety official in the replay booth, who’ll buzz down to an independent neurologist whenever a player needs to be evaluated.
The current change arises from the recent concussion (and subsequent seizure) suffered by Chargers guard Kris Dielman, who remained in a game after suffering a concussion and stumbling to the ground in plain view of two officials.