NFL Rule Changes and Concussions

On November 13, 2015 I attended a conference in Phoenix, Safeguarding Brains: The Law, Science & Ethics of the Concussive Injury Epidemic.

Jeffrey Miller, a National Football League Senior Vice President, spoke about NFL efforts to improve the safety of the game, through numerous rule changes and safety practices and protocols. Changes include a large and varied staff of medical professionals present at the games and the use of a spotter, to stop a game if the observer sees a player with a potential concussion.

A week after the conference the NFL’s concussion protocols failed, when St. Louis Rams quarterback Case Keenum was allowed to continue to play, after his head slammed into the ground, and the obvious adverse effects were clear to television viewers.

The new concussion rules were intended to ensure that players are removed from the field, for a medical evaluation, to assess and manage the concussion.

The Rams coach stated that the team, the players association and the league will work together to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.