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Should Possible Serious Injury Result in Automatic Disqualification in NFL Games

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 27:  Wide receiver Josh Cribbs #16 of the Cleveland Browns lays on the ground after getting hit by linebacker Dannell Ellerbe #59 of the Baltimore Ravens after a play in the first quarter during the NFL Game at M&T Bank Stadium on September 27, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Nick KostoraContributor IIIDecember 1, 2016

Seeing Josh Cribbs laying motionless on the field during a Thursday Night Football contest with the Baltimore Ravens elicited numerous emotions, reactions and questions.

And once he was able to stand on his own two feet and walk off the field, one could not help but wonder, "Will he come back into the game?"

Should that have even been a question?

When a player has just suffered a potentially serious injury, regardless of if they can come back, should they be allowed to?

It is impossible to know the extent of Cribbs' head trauma between the time of the injury and the conclusion of the game.

With the recent surge in talks of protection and prevention from head injuries by the league, wouldn't a step like automatic disqualification for possible serious injuries be a great step forward?

On Sunday, Matt Schaub literally laid on the field with part of his ear missing and his helmet violently thrown off his head after an earth-shattering hit.

He quickly returned to action.

It does not have to be this way.

The league can take precautions to ensure even better protection of its players and prove that it is truly taking every possible measure to keep them healthy.

There should be no question of a player like Cribbs returning to a game because that decision should not be in his or even his team's hands.

No one would be able to question a team's motives when it returns injured players into games because it would not be the team's call.

The right way to deal with serious injuries within the game is an issue that is constantly changing within the framework of the NFL landscape.

However, this is a situation in which the league must take a stance of being proactive instead of reactive.

Address the issues head on and attack them before something truly serious or life-threatening happens and the league is left with its tail between its proverbial legs.

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