All NFL Teams Will Have Independent Trainer Appointed To Monitor Suspected Concussions
NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello yesterday said that as a "direct result of the Cleveland Browns' failure to test quarterback Colt McCoy for a concussion on the sideline during a game, the NFL will alert all 32 teams that, effective this week, an independently certified athletics trainer will be assigned to monitor all suspected concussion-related injuries," according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com. Aiello said that the independent trainers "will be paid by the NFL and approved by the NFL Players Association." The trainer's "sole purpose will be to oversee the treatment of any possible concussions and ensure that the medical staffs on each sideline are following proper league protocol and testing for any head trauma." During the game, the trainers will be "situated in an upstairs booth with direct communication access to each team's sideline." In the aftermath of McCoy's Dec. 8th concussion, the league "sent a medical team to Cleveland last week to meet with the Browns." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also "took part in a four-hour conference call to discuss the team's handling of McCoy's injury, which revealed some gray areas in the league's policy on handling concussions." Mortensen noted the NFLPA "may still file a grievance on McCoy's behalf" (ESPN.com, 12/20).
ANYBODY PAYING ATTENTION? YAHOO SPORTS' Jason Cole noted the reaction to a CBSSports.com report indicating NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith "may quit if he doesn't get the bonus" promised to him during CBA negotiations "was tepid, at best." One player rep said, "If he doesn't want to be here, that's his choice." Another player rep "pointed out that with a 10-year collective bargaining agreement in place, there is little or no push for a decision on Smith, even if he's threatening to leave." The rep said, "I think the feeling with a lot of people is De isn't here for the long-term anyway, so why get all freaked out if he threatens us." Cole: "In other words, Smith did a reasonable job, but hardly wowed anybody enough that there's a lot of support for him" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/20).