The Washington Redskins and the NFL are making a big move to protect players
Redskins players are demanding an immediate change in the league’s concussion protocols, but they may not have a choice.
On Monday, the NFL announced it will change the rules to allow players to request medical care for a concussion that has occurred while playing football.
This could help prevent players from returning to play the same game, with the same team, and with the very same team.
It will also help protect players from the possibility of being cut.
This move, however, will have little effect on players already injured in games played on Thursday and Saturday, which are typically the last two weeks of the regular season.
Players will continue to be allowed to return to the field, but the team must make it known immediately.
“Players’ health is of utmost importance, and we believe this change in policy will provide an immediate and meaningful solution for the health and safety of our players and fans,” said John Mara, the league and team president.
Players and their attorneys are urging the NFL to change its rules so they will allow players who are injured during a game to request a medical examination and treatment in the immediate aftermath of the game, if needed.
“I believe the NFL has the authority to impose such a change in its concussion policy,” NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith said in a statement.
“If this is the right thing to do, I would hope the league would also follow through on its promises to allow the players to be able to return.”
The NFL has long allowed players to report concussions, but that has led to a problem.
Since the start of the 2017 season, at least 21 players have been concussed during games played in stadiums that have been built for the league.
The league is working to create new stadiums that are more protective and safer for the players, but it has not been able to get the necessary permits from local governments.
In a letter to the league sent on Friday, Smith said the league has no legal authority to change the concussion protocol.
The letter was addressed to the commissioner, but no one from the league office has responded to requests for comment.
“As players, we understand that concussion symptoms can be debilitating, but we also understand that a player cannot return to a game without the assistance of a team physician,” Smith said.
“This is why we believe it is time to make sure that players are able to fully recover from concussion symptoms, and that their teammates are fully able to continue to play without risk of a concussion.”
Smith and Mara say the NFL needs to address the problem before it can implement the proposed changes.
“It is not a matter of whether the league will agree with our position, or not,” Mara said in the letter.
“It is a matter if the league can effectively address the need to protect our players from a catastrophic injury.
The NFL has a long history of failing to address concussion concerns.”