NFL notebook

January 31

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, said Thursday that it is appropriate for the sport’s leaders to have “a broad discussion” about the Washington Redskins’ nickname with interested parties.

Smith, speaking after the union’s annual news conference during Super Bowl week, said it is important for those in the sport to avoid “intentionally offending anyone.” But he stopped short of saying the team’s name should be changed.

“I grew up a Redskin fan and I grew up in Washington,” Smith said at the Super Bowl media center at a Times Square hotel in Manhattan. “And as we’ve said before, I think we’re in a better world if we’re not intentionally offending anyone. I think that any time we engage in a broad discussion, whether it be with fans or other interested parties about how to do our jobs better, and that might include the Redskin name, I think that’s positive.”

CONCUSSIONS: The number of concussions suffered by NFL players dropped this season, according to injury data released by the league.

According to the NFL, there were 228 concussions suffered by players this season, down 13 percent from the 261 concussions suffered during the 2012 season.

Players suffered 252 concussions during the 2011 season, according to the league’s data.

The players’ union has access to the same data. The NFLPA’s Smith said Thursday: “The real question, I think, is what do you take away from those changes in numbers? And yes, there has been a decrease. Frankly, I would like to see what those numbers look like over a three- [or] four-year period.”

— Mark Maske

HGH TESTING: When the Super Bowl ends, three complete seasons will have come and gone without testing for human growth hormone — even though the NFL and the players’ union originally paved the way to check for that drug in August 2011.

Smith said HGH testing is still being held up by a disagreement with the league over whether the commissioner or a neutral arbitrator will handle certain types of appeals.

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