The union reminded its 2,000 players Saturday about the dangers of concussions and that there will be a new set of eyes on the sidelines this season.
ESPN obtained an email from NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, who told the players about the league's concussion guidelines and also made them aware of the independent medical specialists who will be on each sideline during games.
The concussion experts, who will not be paid by the teams, either will be neurologists, emergency medical doctors or EMTs with head-trauma expertise. They will "make the determination of whether a player should be taken to locker room for the concussion IMPACT test, which is now programmed into an iPad and will take 8 to 12 minutes to complete," ESPN wrote.
Fox Sports reported Smith said in the same letter that the NFLPA is keeping a close eye on field conditions. That's a heightened worry after it was feared that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III might have aggravated a knee injury during last season's playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks because of poor sod at FedEx Field.
-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor