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Tag:Roger Goodell
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:16 am
 

Troy Polamalu wins appeal on $10K cell phone fine

By Will Brinson

Way back in October, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was fined $10,000 for talking on his cell phone during a game. Polamalu was on the phone with his wife, telling her was OK health-wise, which is why Steelers coach Mike Tomlin believed the safety shouldn't be fined.

The NFL didn't care, and fined Polamalu anyway. But happy news today as Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network reports that Polamalu won his appeal of the fine and was notified of his win by the league on Thursday.

According to league rules, usage of electronic equipment on the sideline (or, in the bench area, if you prefer) is illegal up to 90 minutes before games until the end of game. (It's why players can't tweet during games either.)

Obviously Polamalu's communication with his wife was a matter of alerting her that he was physically safe so the league is providing an exception to the rule here. There's some argument that allowing such an exception could create an easy excuse for players who want to use electronics on the sideline.

A few problems with that logic: there has to be some concern for the health of an individual who wants to use electronics for that excuse to apply. Polamalu was fined anyway, so the player in question would likely need proof that an emergency contact/immediate family member was called/texted/tweeted. And finally, the advantage of using a cell phone on the sidelines is pretty minimal.

All that being said, the league would be smart to bring something like this before the competition committee in the offseason and determine a way that a team with an injured player can provide an alert to family members who aren't at the game and might be concerned with the health of the player in question.

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Posted on: December 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Edited on: December 24, 2011 1:15 pm
 

NFL to refs: Err on side of caution with flags

Clark's collision with Dickson resulted in a $40,000 fine. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson


Follow all the Week 16 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
CLE-BAL | DEN-BUF | TB-CAR | ARI-CIN | OAK-KC | MIA-NE | NYG-NYJ | STL-PIT | JAC-TEN | MIN-WAS

4 p.m. ET games:
SD-DET | PHI-DAL | SF-SEA



Prepare to get angry, NFL fans who already think games are over-officiated. According to CBS Sports NFL insider Charley Casserly, the league prefers that officials "err on the side of caution when penalizing a player for a defenseless hit."

"Furthermore," Casserly said Saturday on The NFL Today, "they've also been told that they will not be downgraded if they make a mistake in this area. The reason: the NFL does not want [them] to hesitate on making this kind of call.

"Now personally, I disagree with this," Casserly said. "When I was on the competition committee, we told the officials: 'If you see it, call it. If you don't see it, don't think that you saw it. Don't call it in that situation.' Our feelings: let fines alter behavior."


With all of the controversial calls this season regarding defenseless players being hit, Charley Casserly spoke with James Brown about what is being done to solve this ongoing issue.

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Posted on: December 22, 2011 2:32 pm
 

Colt McCoy ruled out Saturday with concussion

McCoy will miss Week 16 with a concussion. (Getty Images)

By Will Brinson


Colt McCoy missed Week 15's game after suffering a concussion in Cleveland's loss to Pittsburgh during Week 14, and he won't play in Week 16 either, as the Browns have ruled him out for Saturday's game.

That's according to our Browns Rapid Reporter Marty Gitlin, who also notes that wide receiver Jordan Norwood (also suffering from a concussion) has been ruled out of the game.

Earlier in the week, it was believed to be "likely" that the Browns would start backup Seneca Wallace Saturday against Baltimore, even though McCoy was reportedly almost recovered from the concussion.

McCoy's injury, suffered on a nasty hit from Steelers linebacker James Harrison, generated plenty of controversy around the league. The Browns never tested McCoy for a concussion and inserted him in the game two plays after the injury, which led the NFL to institute a new concussion policy that begins this week.

Additionally, Harrison was suspended for a game as a result of the hit and later said he believed the Browns should also be punished by the NFL for failing to properly diagnose the concussion. (They weren't, and won't be.)

The Browns also placed safety T.J. Ward on injured reserve with a sprained foot, per Gitlin.


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Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 12:41 pm
 

NFL sends memo to teams on new concussion policy

The NFL wants to make sure trainers don't miss hits like the one on McCoy. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The NFL is instituting a new in-game concussion protocol beginning in Week 16, as first reported by CBS Sports Charley Casserly, and as previously mentioned on The NFL Today by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Under this policy, certified athletic trainers will be present at all games in order to ensure players that suffer concussions aren't at risk to return to games following their potential brain injury.

On Wednesday, the NFL sent a memo to all its clubs detailing two changes that will take place beginning on Thursday night.

"First, we have arranged for a certified athletic trainer to be at each game to monitor play of both teams and provide medical staffs with any relevant information that may assist them in determining the most appropriate evaluation and treatment," the memo reads. "This athletic trainer will be stationed in a booth upstairs with access to video replay and direct communication to the medical staffs of both teams. In most cases, the athletic trainer will be affiliated with a major college program in the area or will have previously been affiliated with an NFL club."

However, the NFL noted that this trainer will not "diagnose or prescribe treatment, nor have any authority to direct that a player be removed from the game." The role of the trainer will be to "provide information to team medical staffs" in the event that said staffs missed a potential concussion or injury as a result of other action/injuries taking place.


Additionally, the NFL noted that medical staff will be allowed to use cell phones going forward when taking care of a player who was injured.

"Second, club medical staffs will be permitted to use their cell phones during games for purposes of obtaining information relating to the care of an injured player," the memo reads. "This is not limited to concussions and is intended to assist team medical staffs in addressing a variety of injuries."

There are sure to be plenty of snide comments made whenever a member of the Patriots staff fires up a cell phone (see: Gate of Spy), but the reality is that the NFL's taking a significant and important step in attempting to reduce the negative effect of concussions on its players.

Football players who suffer traumatic brain injuries (the not-as-nice name for concussions) are significantly more likely to sustain long-term brain damage if they suffer another concussion soon thereafter. And there's simply nothing safe about having someone on the field who can't process what's going during a play because of suffering a brain injury.
It's nice to see the league taking positive steps towards limiting the exposure to brain damage for its players.

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Posted on: December 21, 2011 9:46 pm
 

NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

Harrison wonders if Cleveland should be punished for their handling of McCoy. (Getty Images/AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Steelers linebacker James Harrison, fresh off a one-game suspension for an illegal hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in Week 14, questioned Wednesday why Cleveland let McCoy back in the game only a few plays after he suffered what would later be diagnosed as a concussion.

"If he was hurt so bad I don't know why they let him back in ... two plays later," Harrison said via wire reports. "Something should be done to them, I would think. I don't know. I got a game, what should they get?"

Fair question. The answer, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer: nothing. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the Browns won't be disciplined for their handling of McCoy.

Last week, team president Mike Holmgren admitted that there was "no indication" that McCoy had suffered a concussion, and subsquently was never checked out before being sent back into the game. More Holmgren: “Our medical staff and our training staff, they are the best in football. These guys are really good. So one of the things that is troubling to me in this whole process is that they’re getting slammed a bit, along with the head coach. ...And it’s unfair.”

Also unfair: risking McCoy's life because the people in charge of his safety somehow missed one of the biggest collisions of the season.

The NFL Players Association hasn't decided if it will file a grievance against the Browns, but the incident has led to changes in the way teams deal with head injuries. Last Sunday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told CBS Sports' James Brown that he wanted doctors eyeing each game and its players "at all times."


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with James Brown about the recent concussion that Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy suffered from a hit by Steelers LB James Harrison. Goodell also goes into depth about the NFL cracking down on concussions.

Starting this Saturday, that will be a reality.

"NFL contacting teams asking them to put a Certified Athletic Trainer in the Press Box for this weekend's game," CBS Sports Charley Casserly reported Tuesday. "College trainers may be used."

More details via CBSSports.com's Will Brinson:
The league will send a memo to all 32 clubs Tuesday or Wednesday to break down the new protocol for using the trainer during the game.

The trainer will be situated in the press box and monitor the entire game while having direct communication to the sideline to ensure that anyone who may have suffered a concussion will receive proper medical treatment.
Harrison, meanwhile, appears to have learned his lesson, too.

"I'm doing everything [the league] asks me to do," Harrison said. "I've lowered my target area, that's it. … I'm not worried about anything. I can't foresee the future. I'm not a fortune-teller. I'm going to deal with it as it comes."

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Posted on: December 20, 2011 6:18 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2011 6:28 pm
 

NFL sends concussion-monitoring trainers to games



By Will Brinson


Ever since Colt McCoy took a shot from James Harrison on Week 14's Thursday night game, suffered a concussion and returned to the field, the rhetoric surrounding the need for an on-hand specialist to monitor potential concussions has been cranked up.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, speaking with CBS Sports James Brown this past Sunday, said he wanted doctors eyeing each game and its players 'at all times.' That will now happen, beginning on Christmas Eve, when the NFL sends certified athletic trainers to each NFL game in order to monitor concussions.

"NFL contacting teams asking them to put a Certified Athletic Trainer in the Press Box for this weekend's game," CBS Sports Charley Casserly reported on Tuesday afternoon. "College trainers may be used."


According to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, the mandatory officials will be paid by the NFL and approved by the NFLPA.

Aiello also said the league will send a memo to all 32 clubs Tuesday or Wednesday to break down the new protocol for using the trainer during the game.

The trainer will be situated in the press box and monitor the entire game while having direct communication to the sideline to ensure that anyone who may have suffered a concussion will receive proper medical treatment.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 18, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Report: McCoy almost recovered from concussion


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with James Brown about the recent concussion that Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy suffered from a hit by Steelers LB James Harrison. Goodell also goes into depth about the NFL cracking down on concussions.


Follow all the Week 15 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games: MIA-BUF | SEA-CHI | CAR-HOU | TEN-IND | GB-KC | NO-MIN | WAS-NYG | CIN-STL
4 p.m. ET games: DET-OAK | CLE-ARI | NE-DEN | NYJ-PHI



By Ryan Wilson


The Browns organization has been heavily scrutinized for their decision to insert quarterback Colt McCoy back into December 8's Thursday night Steelers game only a few plays after suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit courtesy of Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison (who was subsequently suspended one game).

On Sunday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with CBS Sports' Jim Brown, suggesting that "We want to make sure someone -- a medical professional -- has his eyes on that field at all times and can see when an injury occurs to somebody so that the proper medical care is being given."

ESPN's Adam Schefter now reports that, even though McCoy was declared out for Sunday's game against the Cardinals, he's nearly recovered from what was eventually diagnosed as a concussion.

"McCoy is expected to take and pass his concussion test early this week, putting him on pace to play the final two games against the Baltimore Ravens and Steelers,"Schefter writes. "Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association will decide early this week whether to file a grievance against the Browns, publicly criticize the NFL or ask for reforms in how players with concussions are treated during games, calling for an independent neurologist stationed on the sideline. Each option is being considered this weekend."

Meanwhile, as Schefter notes, the NFLPA remains baffled by how five groups -- the Browns’ coaches, the officials, the league observer in the coaching both, Cleveland’s medical and training staff, and McCoy’s teammates -- all overlooked the fact that McCoy needed to be tested for a concussion before taking the field.

"The NFLPA believes the protocol was broken and it wants to take steps to ensure it won't happen again."

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 12:41 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Casserly: free agency to be 'carnage' for players

The NFL salary cap isn't expected to increase my much for next season. (Getty Images)


Follow all the Week 15 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games: MIA-BUF | SEA-CHI | CAR-HOU | TEN-IND | GB-KC | NO-MIN | WAS-NYG | CIN-STL
4 p.m. ET games: DET-OAK | CLE-ARI | NE-DEN | NYJ-PHI



By Ryan Wilson

With just three games remaining in the regular season and many teams already looking ahead to 2012, CBS NFL insider Charley Casserly, during his weekly appearance on The NFL Today, discussed what the first free agency in the post-lockout NFL world will look like for the players.

"By my calculation," Casserly told CBS Sports' James Brown Sunday, "more than 25 percent of the NFL will be unrestricted free agents (this spring). That's the most in the history of free agency.

"This past week at the labor seminar, clubs were informed that the (salary) cap for next year will either not go up or go up very slightly. What's that mean? Carnage for the players: less money for free-agent players than last year. Not a good sign if you're a free agent this year."

We'll be hearing more about this as free agency approaches, specifically as it relates to the NFLPA's shortsightedness regarding the collective bargaining agreement the players and owners signed off on in July.


With more than 25% of the league's players being unrestricted free agents Charley Casserly sat down with James Brown to discuss what this means for the players.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com