The NFL says it will look into the issue of concussions after the league’s Board of Governors agreed to adopt a new policy Friday that calls for the NFL to investigate every head injury suffered during the season.
The policy, approved by the league and NFL Players Association, will be adopted for all future games, beginning with Sunday’s NFL Championship Game.
The league said it will share information with players and the public on the process.
It said the league will not share information about the results of any study conducted for research purposes.
The NFL has said it expects the new policy to be in place by the start of next season.
“I think the NFL has done a great job in making sure it has all the information it needs to be able to make decisions about what’s appropriate to use in terms of player safety,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday.
“It’s something that we want to do.
I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Goodell also said the NFL will release its full medical information about concussions during the 2018 season.
A spokesman for the medical group that represents NFL players, the American Football Coaches Association, said the association would release a statement when it was ready.
Goodell, speaking on the NFL Network, said there are a lot of things to look at and we will do them in a very thorough way.
He also noted that the NFL did not have enough data on how many concussions are occurring, and that a lack of data was a big problem.
“There are a number of things we need to do,” Goodell said.
“What we don’t want is for the game to become a game that’s played in a vacuum.
That is a recipe for injury.
We want to make sure the safety of the players and our fans is the No. 1 priority.”
A spokeswoman for the union, which represents NFL and NFLPA members, said it was working with the NFL and the players’ association to craft the policy.
She said that in the interim, it was reviewing the policy, but did not provide any details.
The association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The union said it has received a number on concussions in the NFL, but declined to provide the number because it was not in the public domain.
The players’ union did not respond to requests for comment, but the association has previously said it does not know how many players have been concussed in the league.
The concussion-related deaths among NFL players rose last year to 558.
That number represents a 15 percent increase from the previous year.
The deaths have also risen among non-football-related players, to 3,547.
More than one-third of those are in the last five years.
Goodell said the new rule will help prevent concussions from happening in the first place.
The new rule requires that the league release information about every head trauma it receives in its own records, which could lead to the league potentially not being able to identify the person who suffered a concussion for some time.
Goodell also suggested that the new protocol would help the league make its policies more transparent.
“I think there’s a need to make it really transparent,” Goodell told reporters.
“And also I think that it makes the game safer and that’s something we have been looking for.”