NFLPA: More concussion evaluations says we’re smarter about delivering care

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The NFL announced last month that players were diagnosed with 281 concussions in 2017, which represented a new high since the league started tracking total concussions six years ago and was a number that NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills called a “disappointment.”

During a press conference in Minneapolis on Thursday, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said that there were also more than 400 concussion evaluations during the season. Smith had a different reaction to the rise of those numbers.

Smith said it was “a positive” that more players are being evaluated for concussions because it is a sign that the NFL and NFLPA are “smarter and better about delivering” the kind of medical care that led to the establishment of the concussion protocol in the first place.

NFLPA president Eric Winston said that they “will always look for ways to improve” the care and Smith also addressed the investigations into whether the protocol was followed correctly in the cases of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Texans quarterback Tom Savage and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. The NFL and NFLPA found that the Seahawks violated the protocol and issued a joint statement clearing the Texans, but offered different statements clearing the Panthers.

The NFL’s statement asked for “restraint among those who attempt to make medical diagnoses based upon the broadcast video alone” and the NFLPA did not take issue with those who suggested the protocol had not been applied properly.

“We need you guys to hold us accountable,” Smith said. “We love the fact that when people believe there’s been a violation that that’s a media issue. That’s the way, sometimes, that we force compliance.”

The players on the NFLPA executive committee said they also believe that the rise in concussion numbers is because players are reporting symptoms more often and that their teammates are speaking up when a player is hurt. Winston said that’s part of a “paradigm shift” regarding concussions that he believes is a positive for players around the league.

13 responses to “NFLPA: More concussion evaluations says we’re smarter about delivering care

  1. Perhaps if we are serious about concussions we should not allow a player to have two or more in a season; if you test positive with a concussion, you should be immediately placed on IR without being able to come back for that year. Since there is evidence that if you have had a concussion you are more likely than not to get another, let’s protect the players.

    And then we should expand active rosters to 70 players so that there is sufficient depth on teams and all 70 get the opportunity to play on game day.

  2. I think that the NFL just throws numbers out there hoping that the public accepts it. I’m fairly certain that there were more players who received concussions that weren’t caught than the numbers their stating (looking at you Cam Newton), but hey, what do i know?

  3. What? Wait, I do believe EVERY NFL player is an adult. That being said I think they know what the risk is when they sign their contract, that’s why they make a 100 times what say a firefighter, a cop, or a soldier makes who by the way all know that when they choose that line of work that every day they show up for work they have a chance of being killed not just getting a concussion. Stop acting like NFL players are too stupid to understand the consequences of their profession. They choose to play this game because of the financial gains they receive. If they want to play after they have had 5 or 6 concussions that’s their business no one is forcing them to be on the field.

  4. That’s great but evaluation is not nearly as good as it could be.

    When you see guys like Cam Newton falling down after a big hit and then coming back in 5 minutes later it looks like NFL evaluation procedure is an epic fail.

  5. Sissy Union Bums. NFL needs competition. A league without pandering to Union bums and their fake concussions. I served in Iraq, risked my life with bombs and bullets around me. Concussion timeouts? NOPE. Sissy NFL players.

  6. Ultraviolet Thunder says:
    February 1, 2018 at 7:49 pm
    Perhaps if we are serious about concussions we should not allow a player to have two or more in a season; if you test positive with a concussion, you should be immediately placed on IR without being able to come back for that year. Since there is evidence that if you have had a concussion you are more likely than not to get another, let’s protect the players.

    Agreed, let’s protect players but you are on the wrong course regarding concussions and likelihood of recurrence. Concussions are not more likely to occur because you’ve already had one. A concussion occurs under certain conditions of velocity when that velocity is abruptly changed and the brain’s inertia within the cranium changes from moving to stopped in an instant. Correctly stated concussions have a cumulative effect but the cause has zero to do with previous issues.

    The only thing that makes them more likely is playing style. If your head is exposed to opportunities for concussion you’re more likely to get another.

  7. I think they and the NFL and the teams all care ‘some’. But when it gets to making the right choice regarding a key player in a key game you see exactly where everyone’s priorities are.

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