Owners of NFL teams are considering a new rule that would exempt players with concussions from a spot in the lineup until they are cleared.
This new rule would be very similar to the seven day disabled list in baseball. It would allow teams to place players with concussions on the exempt list and replace them with another player.
Owners could vote today on the new rue but without more time to discuss it, it is very unlikely that it will be passed. While the proposal has garnered interest, some owners said that discussion about it has been limited among members of the competition committee and the health & safety advisory committee, and further conversation is needed about the implications before it’s likely to gain sufficient support. Also there are still too many loopholes that teams could exploit from a competitive standpoint based on how the proposal is currently worded.
The NFL already has a concussion protocol players must pass, including clearance by an independent neurologist, before returning to action. Many miss at least one game, which is where the added roster flexibility would factor in. Currently, players with concussions still count as members of the 53-man roster unless they have been placed on injured reserve or the physically unable to play list.