Earlier this month, the National Football League adopted a new rule that allows a medical professional on the sidelines to pause the game and determine if a player should be assessed for a concussion. The new rule was announced amidst settlement negotiations between the NFL and a class of about 5,000 players who claim that the League failed to take adequate precautions to prevent brain injuries, including concussions.
According to a recent article by ESPN, many in the sports world are applauding the measure, explaining that it will almost certainly prevent at least some of the head injuries that occur in the league.
How the New NFL Rule Works
According to the ESPN report, the new rule will work as follows:
- An official in a booth on the sideline keeps an eye on players during the game, pausing the game if he believes that the player may have sustained a concussion.
- The game’s clock will then stop and remain frozen during the pendency of the examination.
- The injured player’s team will be given an opportunity to substitute in another player, and the opposing team will then be allowed to substitute a match-up, if necessary.
- At no point will coaches be allowed onto the field, and there will be no headset communication permitted. Also, no players will be allowed to the sideline unless they are being substituted out.
- The player in question will then undergo an evaluation and, depending on the result, may or may not return to play for the rest of the game.