NEW YORK // The NFL is changing how it handles concussion examinations after the Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy went back into a game on December 8 without being tested for one.
A certified athletic trainer, paid by the league, will be at each game to monitor play and provide medical staffs with "any relevant information that may assist them in determining the most appropriate evaluation and treatment", the NFL said in a statement.
The trainers will neither diagnose nor prescribe treatment and cannot order that players be removed from a game. Their presence is intended to assist team medical staffs in addressing a variety of injuries. The trainer's role will be to provide information to medical staffs that might not have had a clear view of a play or were attending to other duties.
The trainer will be in a booth upstairs with access to video replay and have direct communication to the medical staffs of both teams.
In most cases, the athletic trainer will be affiliated with a major-college football program in the area or will have previously been affiliated with an NFL club.
McCoy was hurt on a helmet-to-helmet hit by the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison late in Pittsburgh's win. McCoy returned to the game after missing just two plays. The quarterback was diagnosed after the game with a concussion. He is still experiencing symptoms and has not played since.
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