The NFL released a memo Wednesday explaining that athletic trainers will be placed in all stadiums to assist with the monitoring and treatment of player concussions. The move comes two weeks after Browns quarterback Colt McCoy suffered a concussion as the result of a big hit from Steelers linebacker James Harrison. The text of the memo is as follows.
"After reviewing our protocols for managing concussions with the NFLPA, our own medical advisors (including team physicians and athletic trainers), and outside experts, NFL clubs have been notified of two changes that will take effect with this week's games.
"First, we have arranged for a certified athletic trainer to be at each game to monitor play of both teams and provide medical staffs with any relevant information that may assist them in determining the most appropriate evaluation and treatment. This athletic trainer will be stationed in a booth upstairs with access to video replay and direct communication to the medical staffs of both teams. In most cases, the athletic trainer will be affiliated with a major college program in the area or will have previously been affiliated with an NFL club. This individual will not diagnose or prescribe treatment, nor have any authority to direct that a player be removed from the game. Instead, the athletic trainer's role will be to provide information to team medical staffs that might have been missed due to a lack of a clear view of the play or because they were attending to other players or duties. The athletic trainers are being identified and selected with the assistance of each club and the NFLPA. Their fees and expenses will be paid by the NFL office.
"Second, club medical staffs will be permitted to use their cell phones during games for purposes of obtaining information relating to the care of an injured player. This is not limited to concussions and is intended to assist team medical staffs in addressing a variety of injuries.
"Clubs also were reminded of the importance of team coaching and medical staffs continuing to work together to ensure that full information is available at all times to medical staffs, that players do not take steps to avoid evaluations, and that concussions continue to be managed in a conservative and medically appropriate way."