NFL stationing trainers in stadiums to monitor concussions

The NFL planned to send a memo to all teams Tuesday, alerting them that certified athletic trainers will be stationed at games effective immediately to monitor players for possible concussions.

The memo has yet to be sent, but it will explain the new protocol of a trainer, who is paid by the league, to be stationed at every stadium. The trainer likely will be placed somewhere in the press box of each stadium to monitor the game and assist the medical staff of both teams.

The proposition has been on the table for some time, but the plan was expedited by the Cleveland Browns' handling of the concussion sustained by quarterback Colt McCoy during a Dec. 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. McCoy suffered the concussion after an illegal hit by Steelers linebacker James Harrison, but he was sent back into the game after two plays.

Browns president Mike Holmgren said McCoy didn't display symptoms of a concussion on the field and the team's medical staff didn't test him because they didn't see Harrison's vicious hit. The situation prompted representatives from the league and NFL Players Association to meet with the team last week to discuss its protocol in handling the injury.

McCoy has yet to be cleared to practice with the Browns, 12 days after the concussion.

The league also informed teams that phone communication of a certain type now would be permitted between team medical personnel and the league-appointed trainer, according to the memo. The communication will be allowed for medical information only, as team medical staff aren't permitted to share other competitive information through phones.

Players, coaches and all non-medical team staff will continue to be prohibited from using any electronic devices in controlled areas on game day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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