On Thursday, the NFL convened a meeting of the league’s health and safety committee to review the medical effects of head trauma.
In the meeting, the league said it has identified a need for more research on concussions, but did not reveal how much that work would cost.
The NFL also said it would be reviewing its concussion protocols and will release recommendations on how to implement them in the future.
The NFL is also expected to release new protocols on the care of players with head trauma later this year.
While the NFL is conducting its own study, orthopodists are hoping to learn from the game’s best athletes and coaches.
“We want to understand how it was done, the rules of engagement, and how the system worked,” said Dr. Michael Roesler, a sports orthopedist at Boston’s St. Luke’s Hospital and author of the book, The Collision Course: A New Approach to Concussion.
He said he hopes the NFL’s meeting will provide a blueprint for the next steps the league should take.
NFL officials have acknowledged that there is a lack of information on concussed players’ long-term health.
Roesler said he believes the league will work with doctors, researchers and others to determine how to address the problem of chronic head trauma in its athletes.
A key component of that approach will be to ensure that players are properly monitored and have their brains scanned before and after a game.
There’s also a need to establish guidelines for when and how to stop players from playing after they have sustained a concussion, Roeser said.
If the league does not do that, Riesler said, he believes that the next step would be for the league to enact a rule that would prevent players from continuing to play if they are diagnosed with a concussion and can prove it.
As for how much money the NFL could expect to spend on the study, Rysler said the league would need to figure out how much it will spend to implement the research.