Details On Measures the NFL Is Looking At To Limit Concussions


Posted on 22nd February 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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No more three point stance? That will be the acid test as to whether the NFL is willing to put player safety first. Eliminate the three point stance and you change the nature of football. Oddly, the running game would likely be the biggest benefactor, which is a complete contrast to the direction the league has been going. It is hard to imagine a traditional defense without line men digging in to stop the run. Will the NFL force such an organic change in the way the game is played for player safety? I doubt it. Frankly, I am not even sure that such change would make a biomechanical difference.

But eliminating the three point stance is one of the rule changes being considered by the NFL and its players are considering rule changes to ward off concussions, according to a detailed account in The Washington Post. Some of the other measures being discussed are barring helmet-to-helmet hits on all ball carriers; limiting off-season practice; and exemptions for players recovering from concussions.

The possible changes could be in place by next season, according to The Washington Post. The league is trying to put the kibosh on the number of concussions that players suffer.

Thom Mayer, the medical director for the players’ union, is quoted saying that he envisions a 20 percent to 25 percent drop in the number of practices with collisions between players being permitted.

The possible changes will be part of the agenda when the NFL competition committee and union reps are together in Indianapolis next week.

Some safety measures were already implemented by the NFL following congressional hearings in October, which took testimony on player concussions causing long-term memory-related problems.

Zackery Lystedt Brain Project To Be Announced at the Super Bowl, New York Times Reports


Posted on 1st February 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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The Zackery Lystedt Brain Project will be announced at the Super Bowl, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The Lystedt initiative, lead by the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation and the American College of Sports Medicine, will push to convince more states to pass legislation protecting young sports players from concussions and their after effects.

Washington and Oregon enacted the first concussion-specific laws related to concussion protection for school athletes. The law that Washington passed is named after Zackery Lysedt, who sustained serous brain injury in 2006 playing football, according to The Times.

The Washington legislation has become a model for other states. The law requires that coaches be educated on concussions; that players be taken off the field immediately if it’s suspected they’ve sustained a concussion; and that a doctor must clear an athlete before he or she can return to play.

There could be as many as two dozen states that may pass laws related to concussions and youth sports, The Times says. Florida, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts have bills in the works.

A House Judiciary Committee forum, the third one, will be held Monday, Feb. 1, in Houston to discuss brain injuries in football.

There have been two prior committee meetings, which discussed the poor treatment of concussions by the NFL. The league responded by adopting some new rules, including one that bans players suspected of having a concussion from returning to a game or practice.

Editor’s Note: You cannot tell the difference between a mild concussion and a serious concussion until you wait hours. While there is arguably a cost benefit analysis to returning the quarterback of an NFL team to the game, there is no cost to holding out a scholastic player from that game. This is especially true because there will is no guarantee of a sideline medical professional trained to clear the player. But as brain injury is a process not an event that takes a minimum of 24 hours to fully manifest itself, any return is risky. Sit the injured player and test them the next day, when you can give a sensitive test for amnesia. See

NFL and Brain Injury

1 comment

Posted on 5th October 2009 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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From the NFL and its Players Association:


For the past few months, the NFL Players Association, led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, President Kevin Mawae, Medical Director Dr. Thom Mayer and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Sean Morey, has been working on compiling support for a special committee to address the issue of head trauma among professional football players. Today, the NFLPA announces the formation of the Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Committee.

The NFLPA Concussion and TBI Committee will address two fundamental, timely and critical issues facing professional football players: first, the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of concussions and TBI in active players; and second, the long-term cumulative effects of isolated or repetitive TBI in NFL players as patients in order to discover how these effects can be reduced and eliminated.

DeMaurice Smith issued a statement saying, “The health, safety and welfare of our players is never just an issue of collective bargaining. While we have already raised this issue in the CBA negotiations and Dr. Mayer participated in the first meeting, this committee and the work we do around the health and safety of our players will extend much further. The creation of this committee was designed to bring both independence and expertise to the ongoing analysis of serious head injuries so we can better protect our players. I am confident that Sean Morey and Dr. Mayer will lead this team to gather more comprehensive data and provide real solutions for our players, both past and present.”

The Concussion and TBI Committee will be co-chaired by Sean Morey and Dr. Mayer. It will also be comprised of other active players, former players, researchers in the field of TBI and physicians with expertise in neurological injuries.

Joanna Comfort
Communications Coordinator, Communications

1133 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(P) (202) 756-9170
(F) (202) 756-9310

The words read good on paper. I will start to believe the NFL when I don’t see players going back into the same game that they suffer a concussion. We can’t know the severity of a concussion the same day as the injury because brain injury is a “process not an event”. See