The league wants to make sure another Case Keenum doesn’t happen.
And they’re willing to fine or suspend people to prove it.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the league “will impose discipline for future violations of medical protocol.”
That new policy will cover all injuries, but obviously is specifically designed to try to avoid future eggs on face such as when the Rams quarterback was allowed to continue to play after he suffered a concussion.
The league investigated (briefly) what happened when the ATC spotter failed to notify officials, and Keenum continued to play after his head slammed to the turf and he was in fairly obvious distress. But players are always going to want to play, so he did. The league followed up with a conference call with the athletic trainers and doctors from all 32 teams, reminding them of the proper procedures.
The news is of clear interest to the NFLPA, since union president Eric Winston has already said the Rams should be fined for the way they handled (or didn’t handle) the situation.
And in the wake of the announcement yesterday, NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah offered a simple “hmmmmm…”
Adding a layer of accountability can’t hurt, so long as you trust the folks administering the steps to keep players safe, or the judicial process which would punish those who don’t. It’s safe to assume the union might not, necessarily.