As Colts fans, we know concussions have been the topic du jour for this season. Now that NFL owners are bargaining for 18 games instead of 16, there was a need for better sideline concussion tests. On Friday, the NFL announced new set of standardized sideline tests.
In the past, NFL teams were in charge of their own re-entry procedures after head injuries. There was not a standard set of rules or tests by which every team had to abide. This led to the idea that some teams let players back into the game based on team need as opposed to player safety.
My personal opinion is that this is long overdue. I say that not only for the protection of the professional players, but even more for the hundreds of thousands of high school and college players taking part in this sport. The professional level sets the example. If they aren't willing to adopt standards that put the players first, why should the lower levels. the message you are sending is that playing the game is more important than player health.
While this first step is a good one, it SHOULD NOT stop there. While there may not be any helmet on the market that can totally prevent concussions, there are some that are more effective than others. Why doesn't the NFL require that it's players wear the more protective version of the helmets? If the NFL were to require these helmets, there would be a trickle down to the lower levels that would create a safer version of the sport we love.
I know the bargaining teams have a lot on their respective plates, but this would be a BIG issue for me if I were a player rep. NFL: STEP UP and protect your players!