NFL Staffs to Use Video Monitors to Review Injuries: Good or Bad?

Brendan O'Hare@brendohareContributor IJanuary 6, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 1: Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions talks with referee Walt Coleman and back judge Greg Yette during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 1, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

The NFL, in an ongoing effort to avoid confronting the real issue, decided that this week would be the first where medical staffs are to use video monitors to help decipher whether or not a player was injured, I suppose in case the biblical apocalypse broke out and too many people were being hurt at once, causing someone to slip through the proverbial cracks. 

It's an interesting idea, and for once, doesn't appear to be overly egregious or ridiculous. It can't hurt to have an extra set of eyes (technology, not the useless trainers who were sent to the press box a while back) watching the field, but it remains to be seen how teams actually utilize this potentially helpful tool. The report says only team trainers or physicians can use it, so the middleman (the coaching staff) could potentially ignore whatever report the initial eyes see.

It is also only supposed to be viewed in case of injury or potential injury, which I presume means that the staff would have to have to be tipped off that someone is hurt. With the epidemic of players hiding and lying about their injuries, this piece of technology could become obsolete. 

I also find it odd that the NFL is choosing now to use a potentially helpful way to prevent injury during a weekend where only eight teams are playing. I don't know how that can make the NFL look good, even if they believe this to be injury reform. Why would they wait to use this? If we can make connections, we can kind of realize that this stems from the Colt McCoy injury that was missed when the Browns staff claimed they didn't see it. That happened a month ago, and now they decide to institute this?

The fact that the NFL refuses to mandate league-employed doctors on the sideline is still beyond me. That is really the only way to ensure that concussed players do not re-enter a game and endanger their future livelihood, assuming the new doctors are unbiased and unswayed by whatever mindless jabber comes out of a machismo coach who wants a concussed player to re-enter the game.

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I am sure the NFL knows this is an option, so it still is shocking to me that they refuse to do this. Although this new reform isn't a step backward, I wouldn't really say it's a step forward either.