Tha Sports Junkies 101

NFL, NFLPA Announce New Concussion Policy

Offseason Needs for all 32 NFL teams Keith Allison via Flickr


Last season, Rams quarterback Case Keenum was playing against the Baltimore Ravens.

With one minute and ten seconds left on the clock, he was hit so hard that his head was smashed into the field, and he had difficulty returning to his feet.

It seemed as if Keenum was concussed and wouldn’t continue the game.

That didn’t happen. Instead, Keenum finished the game and was later noted to have received a concussion.

On Monday, July 25th, the NFL and NFL Players Association have announced new protocol that enforces players to exit the game if they clearly undergo a concussion.

This incident is what appears to be the precursor to new regulations that entail punishment if teams do not withdraw players after concussions.

After the mishandling of the Keenum Case, Commissioner Roger Goodell stated

 “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. So we’re trying to make changes to that.”

In an announcement publishing the policy, the NFL and NFLPA stated

“The investigation will not reach medical conclusions; it will only determine whether the protocol was followed.”

The protocol that the NFL intends for teams to follow is to follow concussion protocol completely, which includes withdrawing of a player who has endured head trauma.

If this is not followed a first offense could cost a team $150,000, the minimum penalty for breaking this is $50,000.

This new protocol also allows for Goodell to strip draft picks if deemed necessary.

The NFL released the rules as followed:

  • A first violation will require the club employees or medical team members involved to attend remedial education; and/or result in a maximum fine of $150,000 against the club.
  • Second and subsequent violations of the concussion protocol will result in a minimum fine of $100,000 against the club.
  • In the event the parties agree that a violation involved aggravating circumstances, the club shall be subject, in the first instance, to a fine no less than $50,000. The Commissioner shall determine appropriate discipline for subsequent violations involving aggravating circumstances.
  • In the event that the Commissioner determines that the club’s medical team failed to follow the protocol due to competitive considerations, the Commissioner may require the club to forfeit draft pick(s) and impose additional fines exceeding those amounts set forth above.

This new protocol is just another measure on how the NFL will begin to make necessary moves to protect players.

It will gain attention from teams and hopefully prevent other players from enduring a fate such as the one Keenum did.