Over the years, the number of concussions in the NFL has increased massively. Between 2014 and 2015, the concussion percent rose over 30%. The most common reason for concussions in the NFL is head on head contact, which is why they banned “head slaps” for good. The NFL continues to think of new rules and policies that could possibly decrease the amount of concussions. For example, they’ve advanced the “roughing the passer” penalty to make it more strict and inclusive, as well as the “unnecessary roughness” penalty. So the question is, what are more effective ways the NFL could further prevent concussions?
In my opinion, the only reason NFL players still occasionally “bump heads” intentionally is because the consequence is bearable and not intimidating. The highest penalty for “unsportsmanlike conduct” is 15 yards in the current game. I think the consequence should be more lasting and punishing. I believe if a player is clearly headbutting on purpose and continuously, there should be talk of a possible suspension. The only thing 15 yards accomplishes is maybe a yell from the coach, but a short 1, maybe 2 game suspension will surely prevent players from making the same mistake. Also, most players keep quiet if they notice double vision, blurriness, or other symptoms of a concussion. They would rather play in the game and not miss any opportunity to compete. If players told someone right away if they were experiencing any symptoms, it would prevent their concussion from getting even worse. Even if this strategy won’t technically prevent concussions, it would stop the players from making the injury even worse. If a player notices any concerning symptoms, they should tell their coach immediately. Lastly, there are some ways players could prevent concussions by just being more aware on the field and knowing some strategies during play. All in all, even though the NFL has managed to decrease concussion numbers over the years, I think with these strategies, they could really put NFL concussions in the past.