Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has refused to talk about whether he should have been on the field in the Super Bowl after taking a hit from Kam Chancellor that left him stumbling and apparently woozy.
But the NFL made changes to its rules this offseason that might have taken him off the field, perhaps before he caught the go-ahead touchdown. And with a medical spotter in the press box designated to be able to stop play for an injury, a player in a hurry-up situation might not be able to continue, as Edelman did in the Super Bowl.
While the league said the change wasn’t a response to one play, that one play is clearly the type they want to monitor more closely.
“The issue is at the time of the injury,” Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, co-chair of the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee said Wednesday, via the Associated Press. “That’s a place where we think we have an opportunity to do better.”
The league gave a presentation about its new safety rules Wednesday, and NFL senior vice president of health and safety policy Jeff Miller also spoke to the Edelman play specifically.
“It was a hurry-up offense. There was no incomplete pass; there’s no huddle,” Miller said. “There was no obvious time in which somebody could intervene.”
Now they can, with the spotter given the ability to stop the game so a player in Edelman’s situation can be tested. The Patriots wideout was eventually tested for a concussion and the results were negative, but Ellenbogen said that in 90 percent of concussions, symptoms can clear within minutes.
“It is very possible for a person to play, come out and then test normal,” he said. “We’re trying to get ahead of that.”
Of course, the Patriots were trying to get ahead of the Seahawks at the moment, which is why Edelman was out there to begin with.