The NFL’s concussion problem isn’t going away just yet.
The league says the number of concussions sustained by players rose slightly this season, increasing from 214 in 2018 to 224 in 2019, according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert.
That said, it’s nothing compared to the number of concussions reported earlier in the decade. There were 281 concussions reported in 2017 and the NFL averaged 266.3 concussions per year between the 2015 and 2017 seasons. The NFL later forbid players to lower their head to initiate contact during games.
NFL executive vice president of health and safety initiatives Jeff Miller says this will help the league assess future numbers.
“From here on, we are going to be driving our concussion reduction efforts against that new benchmark,” Miller said, per Seifert. “Last year’s number was a substantial drop. This year’s number is statistically similar to it. We feel as if we’ve found a new place from where we need to continue to push down the number of concussions.”
Hopefully, this season’s number won’t increase in 2020.