NFL owners will meet Monday to discuss new rules that could limit players’ ability to walk off the field, and it’s the first time in the league’s history that any commissioner has addressed the topic.
In a joint statement released Monday, owners are expected to propose a rule that would prevent players from being carted off the football field for an injury or an off-the-field incident that occurs during an NFL game.
“Our collective efforts will be put into ensuring that players do not suffer a traumatic brain injury or other serious injury,” the statement reads.
“This rule will help prevent the unnecessary and potentially catastrophic injuries that have plagued our players in recent years.”
The NFLPA, which is a player union, has been lobbying for such a rule for years.
The union has argued that players should not be able to walk on the field during an event, especially during a playoff game, because it’s “the safest way for players to safely perform their duties during a football game.”
While many owners are supportive of the idea of such a measure, the union’s stance is controversial among the league owners, who are wary of any move that would allow players to walk away from games.
Owners have repeatedly called for players who do injure themselves during a game to be able get a medical exam before they are allowed back on the footballs.
In fact, the NFLPA recently voted to pass a resolution to help the players, arguing that a medical examination should be mandated prior to players getting onto the field.
The league, however, has rejected the resolution.
“It is our belief that the medical exam is not necessary for players on the sidelines to safely recover from an injury that occurred during the game,” the league said in a statement.
“The NFL’s medical exam has been shown to be effective in identifying a player’s most serious injuries, such as concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious injuries that can lead to death,” the union added.
“In a situation where a player is injured on the sideline and is being cartied off the ball field, we believe a medical examiner should be involved.”
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