NFL Adopts Real-Time Eye on the Sky for Potential Concussions

At its annual meeting Tuesday, the NFL instituted a measure whereby an independent official in the booth will be vested with the authority to call a medical timeout if a player appears woozy and in need of evaluation under the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Rich McKay, a co-chairman of the competition committee, told ESPN earlier this week that “the Edelman situation was a play we looked at and it was part of the issue. There were a couple of other plays that go back a couple of years that we looked at and really it came a little bit from the health and safety committee just saying, ‘We got the ATC spotters, they’ve got a really good vantage point, they’ve got technology in their booth, they’re communicating pretty well with our trainers and doctors and we’ve got a pretty good rhythm going there, why would we miss a player where a player shouldn’t come out?’

“And maybe this becomes the fail-safe. So that was the genesis of it. We do not expect this to be a rule that gets used a lot. We expect it to be a fail-safe when people just don’t see this player and the distress the player may have had, the ATC spotter does and stops the game.”

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Is there a Correlation Between No-Huddle Offenses and Concussions?

Does the increasing use of no-huddle offenses in college football exacerbate the concussion problem?

It depends on who you talk to.KENTUCKY2010 066 (3)

University of Arkansas Head Football Coach Bret Bielema used the news story about San Francisco 49er Chris Borland’s retirement last week to suggest hurry-up, no-huddle offenses lead to an increased injury risk to players who couldn’t substitute off the field, leading to more plays.

Bielema said he read “a study that said players in the no-huddle, hurry-up offense play the equivalent of five more games than those that don’t. That’s an incredible number.

Others aren’t so sure of Bielema’s theory.

University of Arizona Head Athletic Trainer Randy Cohen believes some coaches may be pushing to slow down hurry-up offenses for a “competitive advantage.”

Cohen, who chairs the college committee of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, added: “Don’t say it’s a safety issue because right now we don’t have any data about this. None.”

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Another Former NFL Player Says League Should Allow Pot Use, in Part to Alleviate Concussion Symptoms

Former Denver Bronco Nate Jackson suggested at a conference in Denver the NFL should allow marijuana use, primarily so players can treat the physical pain without becoming reliant on opiate painkillers.

As reported by the Associated Press, Jackson told attendees of the Cannabis Business Executives Breakfast that he felt “like I exited the game with my mind intact. And I credit that to marijuana in a lot of ways and not getting hooked on these pain pills that are recklessly distributed in the league when a guy gets an injury.”

Jackson added that the league is “aware that probably over half of their players smoke weed. They’ve been doing it since they were teenagers. The fact that they’ve been doing it that whole time and still made it to the NFL and are able to satisfy the demands of very, very strict employers on a daily basis means that their marijuana use is in check.”

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