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Goodell: Nothing more important than the safety of our players

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WASHINGTON -- Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined measures the NFL has taken to deal with concussions and urged the thousands of doctors present to continue their research into the causes and treatments for brain injuries, during an address to a national conference of neurosurgeons in Washington on Monday.

"There is nothing more important to the NFL than the safety of our players," Goodell told the Congress of Neurosurgeons, "and there is no issue of greater importance when it comes to player safety than the effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment of concussions."


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Goodell explained the league's push to get concussion guidelines for all youth sports adopted by all 50 states -- 30 states have such measures in place now -- and spoke to initiatives in equipment innovations as well. As part of the new CBA with the NFL Players Association, the sides will also contribute $100 million over the next 10 years to medical research. 

"The vast majority, I can assure you, will go to research on brain injury," Goodell said.

Goodell met with reporters briefly after his remarks and said that the league has had dialogue about potentially limiting or curtailing players in a three-point stance as well. No such changes are on the horizon, though Goodell said it "would continue to be discussed."

Goodell also said he remained "hopeful" that testing for Human Growth Hormone would begin this season. The NFLPA has continued to raise issues with the accuracy and nature of the blood testing, though Goodell pointed out that HGH testing is in the new CBA.

"We're ready to go," he said in regards the league's willingness to start the program now. Congress has asked the NFL and NFLPA to come to Capitol Hill to discuss the matter of HGH testing and Goodell said he expected that to take place in the next few weeks.

Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora.

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