The NFL has announced plans to assign a trainer to each team for the purpose of monitoring any possible concussions during games.
According a report by Jason La Canfora on the league’s website, the trainers will be paid by the league. They will likely be in a booth above the field during games with the ability to communicate with team staff members on the sideline.
The move comes after the Cleveland Browns failed to diagnose quarterback Colt McCoy’s concussion during a Dec. 8 game against Pittsburgh. Steelers linebacker James Harrison leveled the Browns’ QB with an illegal helmet-to-facemask hit. McCoy returned to the game two plays later, but missed the Browns’ next game. He’s likely to sit out again this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Harrison for one game for the hit.
While the revelations about McCoy’s concussion have generated a lot of media coverage, it’s part of a larger issue for the Browns franchise. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that eight Cleveland players have suffered a total of 11 concussions this season and tight end Benjamin Watson was placed on injured reserve last week, ending his season, after his third concussion since July.
According to the league’s website, employing trainers focused solely on concussions have been discussed for some time, but the plan is being accelerated because of the McCoy incident.
(See more Only A Game segments about concussions.)