NFL to require sideline test after head blows
February 25th, 2011
09:47 AM ET

NFL to require sideline test after head blows

Dr. Richard Ellenbogen and Dr. Hunt Batjer talk to CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta about the league’s concussion policy, part of a special “Sanjay Gupta, MD – Head Games: The Truth About Concussions,”  Saturday at  7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 7:30 a.m.

Under increasing pressure from players, medical professionals and even fans, on Friday the National Football League took a step towards clearing up its policy on treating head injuries. Starting this fall, every team will be required to use the same neurologic test to determine – on the field – whether an injured player may return to the game.

"It's simple, 'go or no-go,' says Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, co-chair of the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee, who adds that the exam was developed in response to a direct request from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

NFL committee co-chairs: "In doubt, take the player out"

"The NFL Sidelines Concussion Exam" is a battery of simple tests evaluating concentration, basic thinking skills and balance. It also includes a questionnaire that asks about concussion symptoms. It's designed to be given on the field, within a 6-to-8 minute window. “The individual pieces have all been validated through research, but they’ve never been used together like this,” says Ellenbogen.

All players will be tested before the season to determine a baseline – how they perform on the test when healthy. If the player suffers a suspected head injury, those results would be matched against an on-field test. If the performance dropoff exceeds a certain threshold, the player will automatically be held out of the game.

While most teams already perform some version of a sideline exam for injured players, they handle it differently. The inconsistency has led to complaints that the culture of professional football is prone to shrugging off concussions as part of the game. Worse, in recent years several former players have attributed health problems – ranging from headaches, to loss of thinking skills, to deep depression – to hits they took on the field, even years earlier. The most recent example: former Chicago Bear safety David Duerson, who killed himself this month after leaving a message asking that his brain be studied for signs of damage.

Ellenbogen and his committee co-chair, Dr. Hunt Batjer, spent the week briefing league employees and executives, who are gathered in Indianapolis for meetings and the NFL draft combine, its annual testing ground for college prospects. “If you’re in doubt, take the player out. Sit 'em down and let them recover,’” explains Ellenbogen, a neurosurgeon at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “If you let them recover, they have a much better chance of recovering [long-term] and have better long-term prognosis.”

Ellenbogen and Batjer, a neurosurgeon at Northwestern, say the response was enthusiastic – from team doctors, who were briefed Thursday, to trainers briefed the day before, to the influential Competition Committee, which saw the presentation on Tuesday.

“Clearly the tolerance for not handling this properly is zero,” Batjer tells CNN.

“Everyone we talk to, instead of pushing back, they are pushing us to be more aggressive,” adds Ellenbogen. “It’s beyond a neurosurgeon’s dream.”

soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. steeve-0

    First! To write a comment based on the article, that is.

    They need to examine how these tests would work on an athlete in the heat of a game, with 40,000 + screaming fans, two minutes on the clock and the game on the line. Lots of distractions, testosterone and adrenaline all must factor into these types of tests, where you get 6-8 minutes to prevent someone from eating applesauce for the rest of their lives.

    February 25, 2011 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • junior

      They can do the tests any way they want. My question is, how many concussions are allowed in each season and how many before they bench the player permanently?

      February 25, 2011 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
    • Arlon

      @junior, I believe that right now it's 3 in one season, unless the player has had multiple concussions in a single season previously. I remember that it was an issue with Aaron Rodgers this season, because he had 2 concussions, then got that fancy new helmet. A lot of sportscasters were discussing whether the Packers should go ahead and play Rodgers and risk a season-ending 3rd concussion, or bench him until the playoffs, if they made it. Luckily, the Packers went with their starter, and they ended up winning the Super Bowl with Rodgers being lucky enough to not get another concussion.

      February 25, 2011 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
    • junior

      Arlon, thanks, and it was with Rodgers in mind that I asked those questions.

      February 25, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
    • mmi16

      The NFL should report their F/S index (Frequency Severity Index) which is the same index business reports the injuries to their employees.

      No matter that football is a game of violence – each player expects to go home at the end of the game as one fully functional individual – the same as anyone else going to work.

      The F/S Index of the NFL when compared to any other industry would blow ones socks off to Antartica.

      February 27, 2011 at 03:33 | Report abuse |
    • saftgek

      The focus in sports is on money, ego and fanaticisim, each inextricably entwined. A reasonable person looks at the player FIRST as a human being, then a player. Sadly, too many instances in sports demonstrate precisely the opposite. In my mind, there is no greater, shameful example than Kirk Gibson and the 1988 World Series. Coach Lasorda – by his actions – told Mr. Gibson: "I don't care about you, your future, your family. I care about winning this game. Get out there and hit!" In turn, Mr. Gibson, by grabbing a bat, told his family: "I don't care about you or my ability to meet your needs. I care about my ego!"

      As to the matter of "sideline examinations" for suspected head-injured football players, the matter of "40 thousand screaming fans, 2 minutes to go, ad nauseum," this is utter nonsense. The so-called "fans" (short for "fanatics") have no vested interest in the player, or their health and well-being. They care about their own selfish drives and desires. If an injured player subsequently cannot play after The Play, fans will toss their carcass on the ever-growing pile, and yell "Next!"

      Of course, there should be a legitimate sideline neurological examination/evaluation. With that said, the owners, players and fans should have not one thing to say about the process. There is a need to turn the process over to an impartial team of qualified medical professionals who can and will provide IMPARTIAL determinations on the process and the policy.

      There is a need for a major seachange in how fans and owners (and others) look at sports. Testosterone must be throttled down; ego needs to dissipate; power-mongering must no longer dictate "the game;" intellect and reason need to prevail.

      Absent this, everyone loses.

      February 27, 2011 at 10:35 | Report abuse |
  2. Millertime

    Can you imagine NFL players doing "exams" on the sideline?! Most of them can barely read or write anyway – yet alone when they are concussed!

    February 25, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Todd Eller

      You'd think with all this media hype that concussions are rampant in the NFL and football in general. The ignorant masses will believe the hype without educating themselves. I played up thru Division 1 college football and saw THREE or FOUR people with concussions in my entire 12 years of playing football. Granted the NFL is another level, but the % of NFL players that get concussions is miniscule. The important thing is to monitor those that do get concussions because they are apt to have more concussions once get one.

      February 25, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      How many undiagnosed concussions did you witness during your career? Thats the real question here. Dimentia pugilistica is an ever increasing condition amongst former football players who claim to have never suffered a concussion on the field. Personally, I think the league needs to do more to protect the players from themselves, looking at their quality of life after their career is finished.

      February 25, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
    • MoodyMoody

      Each player is being tested pre-season for a baseline, and the examiner compares the on-field results with that baseline. And apparently, not all of the tests are "intellectual." They will also test for balance, for example, which most pro football players should normally be very good at.

      February 26, 2011 at 09:38 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Ummmm, Todd its people like you that will keep perpetuating this issues due to sheer ignorance, where did you play football? I have been a D1 football athletic trainer for 5 years now and have seen on average 15 concussions each season on a team of 90 guys...you're clearly out of touch my friend, that's why ex-football players don't make these decisions moving forward, thanks for solidifying everyone's concern.

      March 18, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
  3. B Harley

    Its football everyone that has strapped on a helmet knows the dangers what has happened the players have started using helmets as weapons if u use the crown of the helmet as a weapon u can seriously hurt yourself or someone else and you see it every sunday players that have been taught since the 1st practice at 6 yrs old not to hit using the crown of the helmet get those players who use the players helmet as a weapon out the game or reteach them 2 tackle correctly

    February 25, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Blame Canada!

      If they really wanted to make their helmets weapons, they would go for the WW1 German style, with the big spike on top.

      February 25, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      You must have played football and received a lot of concussions. It appears your ability to punctuate sentences was knocked out of you.

      February 25, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
    • George

      Let's go back to the era of leather helmets. I think you'd find players like James Harrison and Brandon Meriweather wouldn't be doing their leaping head spike hits if they realized their own head was just as much in danger; or maybe their heads are already too damaged for them to know or care.

      February 25, 2011 at 23:21 | Report abuse |
  4. B Harley

    Its football everyone that has strapped on a helmet knows the dangers what has happened the players have started using helmets as weapons if u use the crown of the helmet as a weapon u can seriously hurt yourself or someone else and you see it every sunday players that have been taught since the 1st practice at 6 yrs old not to hit using the crown of the helmet get those players who use the players helmet as a weapon out the game or reteach them 2 tackle correctly and the game will be safer

    February 25, 2011 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Uric

    ...ban the NFL. That's what eric meant. First ban the NFL.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Steve

    What are they going to do about subconcussive hits? Journalists never discuss the fact that most of the damage is done by repeated hits that do not result in a concussion. The doctors keep saying it but the news never discusses it. See the study by Purdue on high school kids that had cognitive damage but never registered a concussion. IT IS NOT CONCUSSIONS!! The NFL does not want people to start talking about this, most important, part of the issue.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Joe

    If a player gets hit in the head and has to sit out, then the player that caused the hit should also sit out

    February 25, 2011 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark

      That sounds good in theory but in reality a lot of the hits that cause head injuries are not the fault of the person giving the hit. The other person could be in the process of falling down after another hit or the head injury could be caused by impact with some other part of the body other than the opponents head which is part of normal play. Yes more players should be given suspensions because of illegal hits but sidelining should not be mandatory when the hit causes a head injury.

      February 25, 2011 at 14:51 | Report abuse |
  8. None

    Better expand the roster limits or their won't be any players left after the first 4 Sundays of the season.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Karl

    I know they were doing a similar concussion testing program at Penn State University for all contact sports as early as the late 1990s. Surprising that the NFL is taking so long to catch up.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MoodyMoody

      Not surprising at all. It's all about the money in the NFL. The only reason they are going forward with this is because it's a major bone of contention for the players and the fans. They want to save their viewers.

      February 26, 2011 at 09:41 | Report abuse |
  10. Janet

    All of the High Schools in the county my children attend already do this. My daughter sat out of 4 volleyball games her senior year because of a concussion. It was hard to watch her not play but, she fully recovered! The trainer at the visiting school diagnosed the concussion because the coach carried the baseline test information to every game. I thank god that they have been pro-active!

    February 25, 2011 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nick

      I'm not trying to be a smart@$$ but how do you get a concussion playing volleyball?

      February 25, 2011 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
    • k

      His daughter has huge knockers, and the repeated impacts of said knockers to the face finally did her in. It's the bouncing, you see.

      February 25, 2011 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
    • te art

      I keep wondering about young kids playing soccer, and when they start using their heads to move the ball. Couldn't this cause harm too?

      February 27, 2011 at 08:22 | Report abuse |
    • saftgek

      Nick and Company need to take there heads out of their rectal orifices. A concussion in volleyball is quite easy to experience: knee to the head, head-to-head contact; a player's head striking the floor of the court, et al.

      With respect to the sad responder to the post, you folks REALLY need to engage your brains before placing your fingers on the keyboard.

      February 27, 2011 at 10:40 | Report abuse |
  11. Real talk

    I played college and highschool ball you know the risk when u pad up it's football we like it for the violence just like boxing and mma let them hit and IF you've. Played the game you know making a big hit involves using your helmit at the point of impact and we all like big hits

    February 25, 2011 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michael

      So are you saying that these guys should just "man up" and take it? If so, that's incredibly stupid. The human toll of these kind of hits is too high to not put something in place to protect these guys.....if even from themselves.

      February 25, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
  12. suzi starz n peace

    its about time

    February 25, 2011 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Michael

    My son's high school athletic department has had this type of program in place for years for all contact sports. I guess the NFL good ol' boys club is just a little slow to catch on. Maybe they too are victims of too many hits to the head (especially given how the owners and NFL brass act most of the time).

    February 25, 2011 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. killer B

    The good thing about this country is that even with head injurys/brain damage a player could go on and get elected president of the united states and do a better job than our current president. what-a-tard

    February 25, 2011 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JRYDAF

      This article has nothing to do with politics so don't comment on politics. Perhaps you're the one that's been hit in the head too many times.

      February 25, 2011 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
    • saftgek

      A simple formula: killer B = mentally and socially deficient

      February 27, 2011 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
  15. Aaron G-

    Another angle to look at: what happens to the player who is penalized for an illegal hit which has concussed a player who is now not "allowed," back into the game?

    February 25, 2011 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. hvindeezy

    great article. you hit the nail on the head. as a former high school player, we didn't even know what the word concussion was when i was playing.

    this scares the begeezez out of me and it should to anyone else who played tackle football. the human body and the brain were not made for this sport. i wish i had listened to my mother who begged me not to play.

    high school football coaches are more concerned with there high school football careers than the long term health and safety of the kids, that's right kids, they are coaching.

    i remember hearing things like, "leave it all on the field", "sacrifice your body" and "you only get hurt if you go less than full speed" being told to children.

    if i am lucky enough to have kids of my own, there is NO WAY i am going to let them play any contact sports, especially football.

    why are we the only country in the world (ok canada too) that plays this violent game? this is the beginning of the end of the sport or at least it's marginilization.

    for guys lke me who played, the news coming out is scarier and scarier. the connection between having played football and later on quality of life is huge. now with CTE, people who are suspectible to it are getting dementia like symptoms in there 30's and 40's. that's not right. if we could ask anyone of those poor men who passed away terribly, most by there own hands, if they had it to do all over again, would they play football? i think we know what the answer would be.

    February 25, 2011 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Edd


    February 25, 2011 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Glades

    Skiiers and other athletes are now required to undergo tests to determine if they are safe to return, though as we all know the other sports usually do not weigh as heavily with Las Vegas oddsmakers as football, so the pressure from the outside is very great and is causing NFL players to suffer permanent brain injuries in order to satisfy outside interests...

    February 25, 2011 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. JARAD

    All the tests in the world will not mean that in the heat of the game when the player wants to be put in they won't have the trainer lie about his test produce a false report etc..

    February 25, 2011 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ashley

      Why would an Athletic Trainer lie in this situation? A simple lie could mean the end of their career and also that athletic trainer could be sued for negligence. As an athletic trainer, one game is not more important than my career that I worked so hard for. Many people make assumptions about the integrity of athletic trainers before educating themselves on who we are and what we do.

      March 2, 2011 at 11:05 | Report abuse |
  20. Flash

    You have no idea 5 min after a hit if the brain is going to swell. Another minor step towards fixing a major problem. Helmets that protect the head/neck are the only way to protect players. No new helmet design in how many decades???

    February 25, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Snotbubble

    This is SAD no matter how you cut it. I am a season ticket holder, I am in love with this sport. When I hear the message of one of my childhood heroes through suicide it touches me to my core.I do not claim to know the answers but something must be done. Theese are human beings with families that we are talking about. Have we not evolved from Roman times? Gladiators to the death? I hate to say it, but if it means no more wasted lives then bring on flag football. I will still cheer my heart out for my heroes with a clear conscious knowing that they will be able to enjoy life after retirement. How about loosing the helmets altogether and playing on softer fields let's see who leads with there heads then. Anyone who believes theese athletes are not intelligent has never studied a playbook or gotten a degree.

    February 25, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ricky Bobby

      @snotbubble – bring on the flag football? Have you never watched the piece of garbage pro bowl play? That is bad enough. To go beyond that is just asinine.

      February 25, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
    • saftgek

      The key word to your post, with respect, is "evolve." One would like to believe we can "evolve" from barbarism to civilization. We should be able to engage our brains, add a large dose of judgment, and make decisions for – not to – the players.

      We need not repeat what was barbaric in our history – we need LEARN from it!

      February 27, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
  22. Pete

    I wonder if players who wrongly ignore the risk of concussions might deliberately flub the baseline test to get a lower baseline, making it easier to pass while concussed. That's what I'd do if I was smart. Well, if I was stupidly smart. Or stupid and smart.

    February 25, 2011 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr. K

      EXACTLY. The players might not be smart enough to figure this out but the MONEY guys (coaches, owners) will figure this out – why do I know this? Well, WE JUST DID! Shhhh don't tell anyone. In HS football, where I am a team physician, we use a screening tool that doesn't involve any advance math or creative writing that takes 8 minutes – we take them out for the rest of the game with a concussion – speaking of concussion – in Medicine we no longer use this term because it belittles the fact that a concussion is really "closed head trauma causing traumatic brain injury". I agree, get rid of the helmets – sure, we'll have more blood and broken noses but concussions will be less frequent.

      February 25, 2011 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
  23. tttttttt

    Punish the player who caused the injury the same as the player injured. If you end his career so is yours. This would make players think before they make these ridculous acts.

    February 25, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Don Vito Corleone

    HOW BOUT EM COWBOYS!!!!!! The Redskins are less than suabhuman!!!

    February 25, 2011 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Don Vito Corleone

    HOW BOUT EM COWBOYS!!!!!! The Redskins are less than subhuman!!!

    February 25, 2011 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Ellen Hunt, PhD

    What really matters is that they make treatment with hyperbaric oxygen available right there, and do 10 to 30 treatments for each player on demand, no questions asked. Nothing else has been shown to reverse brain injury effects as well.

    February 25, 2011 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr. K

      Concussion (traumatic brain injury) is not on the list – where do you get your information from?

      The following indications are approved uses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as defined by the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Committee.

      1. Air or Gas Embolism
      2. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
      Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Complicated By Cyanide Poisoning
      3. Clostridial Myositis and Myonecrosis (Gas Gangrene)
      4. Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome and Other Acute Traumatic Ischemias
      5. Decompression Sickness
      6. Arterial Insufficiencies
      Central Retinal Artery Occlusion
      Enhancement of Healing In Selected Problem Wounds
      7. Severe Anemia
      8. Intracranial Abscess
      9. Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections
      10. Osteomyelitis (Refractory)
      11. Delayed Radiation Injury (Soft Tissue and Bony Necrosis)
      12. Compromised Grafts and Flaps
      13. Acute Thermal Burn Injury

      February 25, 2011 at 20:38 | Report abuse |
    • The Neurologist

      Show us some evidence to the crap you said just before, and you call yourself a PhD.....?

      February 27, 2011 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
  27. ss

    "The NFL Sidelines Concussion Exam" is a battery of simple tests evaluating concentration, basic thinking skills and balance"
    How many of them can pass this test "before" getting hit on the head?

    February 25, 2011 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Usr744

    YAY! Football is becoming the new softball. I miss the days when it was a man's sport. Thank god we still have UFC!

    February 25, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Uhh

    What happens if players purposely score low on the initial tests in order to play more? Sure the stars won't do this because they have nothing to prove but someone on the bubble of making a team has every incentive to try to get as much playing time as possible. The "working class" players will do everything possible to stay in the game because proving they are good (which can only be done in a game) could mean the difference between a career in the NFL or a career driving a truck.

    February 25, 2011 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. duh

    I've got a simple solution, take away the helmets and the pads. The theory here is they wont hit as hard as they are now because the immediate pain felt will be much greater. Sure it'll be more bloody but these will just be cuts and bruises, not the brain rattling around. Same thing goes with boxing, take away the gloves, its actually doing more harm than good.

    February 25, 2011 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. mechatronics

    The National Fairy League.

    February 25, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Otis

    what a bunch of wimps!

    February 25, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I love football even though it's a brutal sport. Some years ago I worked with a medical doctor who had many friends who were professional football players and his exact words were "these men have very serious problems due to hits they take and I haven't met one who didn't suffer problems". Not only does the NFL need to do more but Americans who enjoy watching the sport should be a little more sensitive to these players who make mistakes in their lives which comes at a price playing the sport we enjoy watching.

    February 25, 2011 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. nickadams

    this sounds almost like the same test the military requires of its soldiers when they have a traumatic brain injury

    February 25, 2011 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Bill from Raleigh

    If you really want to understand the issue here you need to watch the Green Bay and Philadelphia game in week1 of the 2010-2011 season. One of Philly's LBs came up slowly after a tackle and walked towards the huddle. He then collapsed and went unconscious. He was allowed to re-enter the game later. This was obviously a case where he begged to get back in and convinced medical personnel he was 'okay'. He was out the next week due to that concussion. I am hopeful he got a full recovery, but it was obvious to everyone he was concussed. This kind of thing has to stop.

    February 25, 2011 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Jack

    Is boxing going to follow suit?

    February 25, 2011 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Ted

    What these guys need (and it's rarely if ever seen) is mandatory mouth pieces. That alone will help reduce the risk of concussions somewhat. They're needed in high school, and in some college play, but not required in the NFL.

    February 25, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr. K

      I'm sorry – I don't understand how a mouth piece stops your brain from bouncing back and forth inside your skull after a sudden deceleration... please explain.

      February 25, 2011 at 20:33 | Report abuse |
  38. Dc

    Who cares? We're laying off teachers making less than $50k per year. Let these multi-million dollar goofs take care of themselves.

    February 25, 2011 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Sugarland

    The players are put out to pasture when they are in a stupor because of head injuries. The players are just work horses, can't work,it's the glue factory for you. Same with boxing. It's a sport where the goal is to knock the opponents brains out. They do these so called sports by their on choice but I,m sure the tax payers pick up some of their medical bills, Social Security Disability, etc.

    February 25, 2011 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Dr. K

    I don't see traumatic brain injury (concussion) on the list:

    The following indications are approved uses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as defined by the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Committee. The Committee Report can be purchased directly through the UHMS.

    1. Air or Gas Embolism
    2. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Complicated By Cyanide Poisoning
    3. Clostridial Myositis and Myonecrosis (Gas Gangrene)
    4. Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome and Other Acute Traumatic Ischemias
    5. Decompression Sickness
    6. Arterial Insufficiencies
    Central Retinal Artery Occlusion
    Enhancement of Healing In Selected Problem Wounds
    7. Severe Anemia
    8. Intracranial Abscess
    9. Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections
    10. Osteomyelitis (Refractory)
    11. Delayed Radiation Injury (Soft Tissue and Bony Necrosis)
    12. Compromised Grafts and Flaps
    13. Acute Thermal Burn Injury

    February 25, 2011 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply

    It is about keeping the players safer – that's why researchers and companies like GelCool are working to reduce the damage of these concussive blows to the brain. Look us up – we absorb some of the concussive energy and keep players cooler in the extreme heat: GelCool Systems

    February 25, 2011 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. k

    Wow! relevant much? Ever?

    February 25, 2011 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Inspectorwooddy

    Why wear helmets? No brains.

    February 26, 2011 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Will 18E

    This is amazing, where are the conservatives blasting this. And accusing the NFL of flooding the health care system, or claiming healthcare will further be rationed because you now have to stand in line behind an NFL player; who wiling makes 6 or 7 figures playing a violent game.

    February 26, 2011 at 07:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Will 18E


    February 26, 2011 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. MUS

    The King Devick concussion test is new for sideline testing. Penn has also done a study on it.

    February 26, 2011 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. zaglossus

    They should probably outlaw this sport. But you know that ain't gonna happen. Half the men (and many women too) in the United States would start an armed revolution.

    February 26, 2011 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Diane

    Patient's right to refuse treatment...?

    February 27, 2011 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. The Neurologist

    This f.....ing game should be banned; did anybody think through the fact that you put your kids through these games as well?

    February 27, 2011 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The Neurologist

      I agree ban the NFL too.

      February 27, 2011 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
  50. Stephanie

    If the NFL really cared about concussions they would require the new helmets be worn.

    February 27, 2011 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
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