Monday marked the start of the NFL owners meetings and In an effort to evaluate potential changes or adjustments the owners consult and meet at the conclusion of every season. More than one topic has been tabled during these conversations, yet concussions remain at the forefront of everyone's minds.
After years of concussion talk, studies, and even the release of a movie starring Will Smith, the NFL and their fans are much more familiar of them and their consequences now than they were ten or fifteen years ago. If it is true that they have known and downplayed the concussions, the attention and statistics have forced action. Either way the threat of concussions seems to be significant to the future of the game.
Giants owner John Mara, who is also a member of the league’s competition committee, has been one of the owners who has led the charge to try to find ways to limit concussions and their impact, most notably CTE.
He spoke about the spike in concussions that occurred last season.
He explained, “I am startled to a certain extent by the rise in concussions this year because we were on a steady downward trend for the last three years, and all of a sudden they spiked up this year, and we're still trying to understand why that is.”
271 is the amount of concussions that were reported and diagnosed in 2015, which is up from the reported 206 the year before. Keep in mind that these numbers only tell the tale of the people who were willing to report concussions. The league has made positive strides in forcing players to be tested even if they insist they are fine in an effort to ensure player safety. Yet, it is hard to quantify if a handful of cases, or potentially more, went unreported.
Mara spoke about how the NFL owners around the league acknowledge how the link between concussions and CTE is having an adverse effect on the players in their league. Mara said that they are not trying to hide from the issue at hand and that they will take the steps needed to research more in an effort to learn ways to limit the devastating effects. They may not be able to ever get rid of the problem but any step that can be made that can improve player safety is a step in the right direction.