NFL issues stricter concussion guidelines

NFL Notes

Falcons running back Turner misses practice

Jaguars will be without Mathis

December 03, 2009|By From Sun news services

NFL teams now have new, stricter instructions for when players should be allowed to return to games or practices after head injuries, guidelines that go into effect this week.

In the latest step by the league to address a hot-button issue, commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the 32 clubs Wednesday saying a player who gets a concussion shouldn't return to action the same day if he shows certain signs or symptoms.

Those include an inability to remember assignments or plays, a gap in memory, persistent dizziness and persistent headaches.

The old standard, established in 2007, said a player should not be allowed to return to the same game if he lost consciousness.

Wednesday's memo also says players "are to be encouraged to be candid with team medical staffs and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion."

Nearly one-fifth of 160 NFL players surveyed by the Associated Press from Nov. 2-15 replied that they have hidden or played down the effects of a concussion.

FALCONS: Running back Michael Turner sat out practice but isn't giving up on playing in a crucial game against the Eagles.

Turner initially suffered a high right ankle sprain in a Nov. 15 loss at Carolina. After sitting out a game, he returned to play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, only to go down again in the third quarter with the same problem. Atlanta has already ruled out starting quarterback Matt Ryan with an injured toe.

GIANTS: Backup running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Danny Ware missed practice Wednesday, and coach Tom Coughlin is uncertain about their status for Sunday's matchup with the Cowboys.

JAGUARS: Jacksonville will be without cornerback Rashean Mathis for a third consecutive week. Coach Jack Del Rio ruled Mathis out for Sunday's game against Houston.

RAIDERS: All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha says the defense is too simple. "We're a team that chooses to be who we are regardless of who we're playing against and regardless of the matchups or the things that the other team is going to present," Asomugha said. "We've got one way of doing it and that's what we do, and teams can get us into some tough situations."

SAINTS: New Orleans' win over the Patriots on Monday night was the second-most-watched cable telecast of all time. The game on ESPN was seen by 21.4 million viewers, second only to the 21.8 million for the Packers-Vikings game Oct. 5.

STEELERS: Hines Ward'sapology to Ben Roethlisberger was extended to the rest of the team. Ward said at a team meeting that he regretted creating a distraction when he questioned why a concussion had kept Roethlisberger from playing against the Ravens on Sunday night. Roethlisberger hasn't reported any headaches since Friday and practiced Wednesday for Sunday's game against Oakland.

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