Is the NFL Getting Soft with the Concussion Rules?

Concussions and other kinds of traumatic brain injuries are some of the common football-related injuries. According to studies, the management needs to offer rest and perform the neurological analysis to determine the degree of impact if a player is suspected to be concussed (Navarro et al. 1). Notably, the degree of effect resulting from a concussion in the National Football Leagues (NFL) is exhibited by the widespread occurrence of traumatic encephalopathy. The American family physician report defines concussion as the structural harm that is caused by shear stress on the brain tissues due to the revolving or angular forces. The increasing prevalence of brain shock in the NFL has made the players’ safety to be one of the topics under discussion among the sports community (Abreu, Marcos et al. 1). The NFL has been criticized by the public for being lenient in implementing the NFL rules and regulation. However, some are of a different opinion as they believe football is an intense game that entails speed and body contact hence such injuries cannot be avoided without changing the game.

Is the NFL soft on the Concussion Rule?

The NFL is a trade group that is composed of thirty-two teams. The constitution and the by-laws of the association are used to regulate the relations between it and its allied members. The NFL has developed several laws to mitigate the increasing cases of head injuries among the players. The rules were introduced due to constant criticism by the public over the lack of policies to protect the players. Apart from instituting the mentioned changes NFL’s management declared concussion as a significant condition affecting players officially. The new rules aim at protecting the players both in the training and competitive matches from hard knocks and blows directed to one’s head (Pallone 1). Equally, NFL subjects its members to a fine of more than a hundred thousand dollars for failing to offer medication to their players who sustain concussions on the field.

Unlike before when NFL games were marked by raw and unfettered plays, the current regulations require the union and the league to hire experts to monitor competitions. Essentially, such a professional is bestowed with the responsibility of screening the players for concussions before match (Pennington n.p). Additionally, the NFL management has developed educational posters and brochures to help create awareness among its member teams to avoid cases of brain shock. The association’s rules also entail a clause regarding decreased distance between the opposing sides at the start of every game primarily to lower the level of potentially dangerous collisions (Belson n.p). The periodical review of the injury records is among the measures incorporated by the league and the union to investigate if the instituted rules are effective or need to be amended to enhance the safety of the players.

The NFL management to incurs over hundred million dollars in compensating the players that sustain concussions, an indication of its determination to ensure the safety of its players. Additionally, the NFL leadership has donated millions of funds to firms that develop safer sports material to reduce the incidents of concussion among players (Belson n.p). The association’s insistence on the implementation of the concussion protocols has discouraged teams from making players play when they are concussed.

In November 2016, one of the St. Louis Rams’ players Keenum fell during one a match and hit his head on the turfgrass and was observed groaning on the ground while touching his helmet, a sign of a severe pain inflicted on the head. Despite it being determined that the player had sustained a concussion, the team coach let him return to the game instead of subbing him (Belson n.p). Both the league and the union have created a committee to evaluate the ground surface as a way of mitigating threatening injuries. The establishment of the committee was enhanced by the continuous agitation of the players on the need to play on natural grass as opposed to synthetic one. Therefore, based on the increasing regulations enacted to assist in averting concussion, the NFL is acting actively on the condition.


Cases of concussions have been on the increase in the NFL. The issue bears significant weight because the injury has lasting effects as evidenced by former players who have reported long-term effect of the disease. The gravity of the matter has led to the association implementing regulations to enhance players’ safety. One of the enactments includes the screening of players for traces of concussion both on and off the pitch. Additionally, the law requires the union and the league to employ an expert to monitor the competitions and determine cases of field concussion. The NFL’s determination to ensure the enactment of the concussion regulation depicts its dedication to eliminating the problem. As such, the NFL is headed towards the right direction in ensuring that players are safe from concussions and if they sustain the injury, proper protocols of resolving the matter are observed.



Works Cited

Abreu, Marcos A. et al. “The War against Concussions”. The Sport Journal, 2018. Accessed 12 Nov 2018.

Belson, Ken. “N.F.L. Introduces New Rules To Back Its Concussion Protocol”. NY times. 2016, Accessed 12 Nov 2018.

Navarro, Sergio M., et al. “Short-term Outcomes Following Concussion In the NFL: A Study of Player Longevity, Performance, and Financial Loss.” Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine Vol. 5, No.11, 2017,  2325967117740847.

Pallone, Ben. “NFL Concussion Protocol: A System Redesign.” Am. J. Mediation Vol. 7, 2013, Pp. 55.

Pennington, Bill. “Trump Says N.F.L. Is Getting Soft. Players Hit Back.”. Nytimes.Com, 2017, Accessed 12 Nov 2018.