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NFL will discipline those who impede injury protocol

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In an effort to limit breaches in the league's concussion protocol and other injury protocols, the NFL will now levy discipline against anyone impeding the proper process with which potentially injured players are identified and treated.

The news, via NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, notes that "everyone involved in the protocol is subject to discipline (fines or suspensions). That includes players, coaches, officials, a team's medical staff, neurologists, or the ATC spotter."

Every game, all season

Wednesday's rule alteration applies to all injuries, not just concussions.

Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with SiriusXM NFL Radio recently about the errors he noted in a recent episode where Rams quarterback Case Keenum clearly sustained a head injury but was left in the game.

"In the Case Keenum case, it was clear that there was somebody giving him medical attention and that that was already done. The problem we had was that the appropriate medical attention wasn't given and there were several gates that, frankly, failed and didn't do the right things for our protocol," Goodell said. "So we're trying to make changes to that."

He went on to add: "We're going to continue to tweak that until we get it right and try to prevent ... make sure the game is stopped so the player has the right medical attention. That's always the issue."

This is an interesting change in that it's bringing parties we rarely hear from, like the spotter and the team's medical staff, into the spotlight as well.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association recently distributed a league wide survey to all players that no doubt touched on this issue. Despite the fact that there was some controversy surrounding Ben Roethlisberger's latest concussion, he praised the program and hoped that there could be a more forthcoming relationship between coaches, trainers and players when it comes to injures.

Perhaps this will be a step in the right direction.

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