The NFL is said to already be considering a rule change that could make it harder to play defense. And it appears there could be more to consider based on the fact that concussions are on the rise.
It’s been a very difficult football season, given the incident involving Damar Hamlin, as well as Tua Tagovailoa’s ordeals.
The league revealed on Friday that concussions have gone up by 18 percent from 2021, also 14 percent higher than the three-year average between 2019 and 2020, per ESPN. In 271 games played this term, 147 concussions were sustained, marking an additional 23 from the previous campaign.
According to the NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, the rise comes as a result of multiple factors, including a change in protocols that “broadened and strengthened” the definition of a concussion following Tua’s injuries.
“We continue to become more cautious and conservative in our evaluation and diagnosis of concussions,” Sills noted. “That’s not just an opinion. That’s backed up by the data.”
Sills did not speak to the possibility of the numbers being based on improved diagnostics. However, he disclosed that medical NFL staff made 1.6 evaluations per game. He also pointed out that there were nearly twice as many medical timeouts called by independent spotters and on-field officials during the season.
The league saw a measure of success in its efforts to prevent preseason practice concussions, having mandated that players wear Guardian Caps on their helmets. The move brought practice concussions down to 25, the lowest in eight years.
League executive vice president Jeff Miller said the NFL could expand the use and duration of Guardian Caps in training camp.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.