The NFL recently released some revealing statistics showing a noticeable change in how players suffering from concussions are treated. The figures show that players who suffered a concussion during the 2011-2012 season spent an average of 16 days off the field. Though this might not sound like an especially long break, it represents a substantial increase from the average time off seen in previous seasons.
According to the independent analysis conducted by the NFL Players Association, this represents an increase of nearly 10 days per concussion incident over the average in 2009 when players spent only six days off the field. In 2005, the numbers were even worse, with research from the NFL Players Association indicating that players only spent an average of four days away from the field per concussion.
Experts say this move is a welcome step in the right direction, though one that came far too late for many of the currently injured players embroiled in concussion litigation with the league. The increase in time off the field is a clear indication that the NFL has responded to recent pressure and is attempting to take action to better identify and treat serious head injuries. The hope is that by taking more time away from the game, players have a chance to allow their brains to heal, ultimately leading to better health down the road.
The increase in time off is based on newly implemented concussion protocols, which require players to be subjected to baseline testing for concussions and mandates removal of any players who suffer head injuries during games or at practice. Before a player can return to the game they must first be cleared by two doctors, including at least one independent doctor. Just this year the NFL further required that teams have an independent neurologist evaluate players on the sidelines after hits during the game.
Though the steps are good news for players and their loved ones, the fact remains that too many professional athletes continue to suffer the harms associated with traumatic brain injuries. The survey also noted that players suffered 265 concussions in 2012, only one less than the number of concussions in 2011.
Pope McGlamry P.C., currently represents former professional football players and their families for injuries and damages sustained as a result of suffering concussions while playing professional football and is actively involved in the current concussion litigation. If you or someone you love has been injured during your professional football career, you may be entitled to compensation.
Source: “Data: Concussions keeping players off the field longer,” by Lindsay Jones, published at USAToday.com.
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