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NFL Will Agree To Have Independent Neurologists On Sidelines

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The NFL for the first time yesterday said it would agree to have independent neurologists on the sidelines during games, but emphasized that team physicians should still retain ultimate control over whether a player returns to action. That appears to conflict with the NFLPA, as Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith said during the union’s annual Super Bowl press conference that the decision should reside with the neurologist. At a player safety press conference, believed to be a first at the Super Bowl, NFL Exec VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash said the neurologist would be an adviser to the team physician, and disagreed the league had “conceded” the issue.

The NFL in the past has resisted the move of having doctors independent of the teams on the sidelines. The NFLPA’s position is that players do not trust team medical personnel and independent doctors are necessary. Smith even called for a new NFL director of player safety. Pash said he expected the neurologists to be on the sidelines for the '13 season.
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