What’s news in football with health and safety issues:
* The NFL announced Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed was suspended one game without pay for his pattern of dangerous play, according to the Baltimore Sun on Monday.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks imposed the one-game ban which came a day after Reed was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty for his hit on wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in the third quarter of the Ravens’ 13-10 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday night. It was Reed’s third violation in the past three seasons and his second this year. “We cannot tolerate repeated violations of rules, especially rules related to player safety,” NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson said. “We will continue to take the strongest possible action to deter these types of violations and protect our players.”
* On Tuesday, Reed won his appeal of the suspension and instead received a $50,000 fine, the Sun reported.
“The league has an appeal process to review situations like this, and Ed had his opportunity to answer questions about his play. Ted Cottrell, a long-time NFL defensive coach, reviewed Ed’s play. Ted is the arbitrator approved by both the NFL and the NFL Players Association, and he made the decision,” Newsome said in a statement released by the team. “I think (head coach John Harbaugh) and his coaches do an excellent job of teaching the right, safe and legal way to play football, and we believe Ed clearly tries to play within the rules on every down.”
* CSN Philadelphia reported that LeSean McCoy’s concussion was called minor by the Philadelphia Eagles, who also said quarterback Michael Vick is improving from his head injury.
* Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young both praised and questioned the NFL’s new concussion protocol prior to Monday night’s game between the 49ers and the Chicago Bears that featured backup quarterbacks because both starters had suffered concussions the week before.
* NFL.com reported that Dennis Pitta and Isaac Redman of the Pittsburgh Steelers suffered concussions Sunday night.
* PRNewswire released Pop Warner Football’s announcement Monday that the governing body will legislate the amount of full-contact drills and the space in which it is done to cut down on head injuries.
Coaches will only be allowed to have full-speed hitting – including one-on-one blocking and tackling, contact between linemen and scrimmages – for one-third of their weekly practice time. (Previously, there were no restrictions on contact time.) Also barred are any head-to-head, full-speed blocking or tackling drills in which players start more than three yards apart.
* The Wall Street Journal reported that better training for doctors is one aspect that is helping to create better care for youth concussion victims.
* Kaiser Health News reported on the NFL’s Monday announcement that all medical records will go digital to help better track players. The Boston Globe wrote about the Massachusetts firm that will be entrusted with updating the league’s medical files.
* Chicago Magazine wrote that the push to prevent concussions in the NFL won’t ruin the football experience.
* And the Harvard Gazette wrote about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s recent Dean’s Distinguished Lecture at the school.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor