IS THE NFL SERIOUS ABOUT REDUCING CONCUSSIONS? This year, with evidence of how harmful concussions and multiple concussions are, the NFL is increasing the penalties for helmet-to-helmet hits on “defenseless players.”. This article tells how the NFL is now saying that it may begin suspending players for “dangerous and flagrant hits.” (The tops of helmets are apparently stronger so that a hit with the top of helmet may injure the other player). Although there has been a yardage penalty on the books, often the only penalty has been a fine, small in comparison to a player’s salary, imposed after the game is over. The threat of suspensions is a step forward, but if the league is serious about reducing concussions, it should do the following:
1. Provide instant replay on suspicious hits. The reward for an illegal hit has been a competitive advantage if an opposing player (and especially the quarterback) leaves the game. A win is worth more to a player than a fine which is a small percentage of his annual salary.
2.Eject a player after an illegal hit.
3. If the opposing player is injured as a result of an illegal hit, make the suspension as long as the period the other player is unable to play.