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Discipline possible against NFL teams, individuals for future violations of concussion procedures

The NFL is making changes to its policies after its review of the concussion procedures followed with the Rams’ Case Keenum. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)
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The NFL intends to impose disciplinary measures for future violations of the sport’s concussion protocols in cases in which it believes that such penalties are warranted, according to a person with knowledge of the league’s deliberations.

Disciplinary steps for violations could be taken against NFL teams or any individuals involved in the process, including coaches, players, team employees, medical staff, spotters or physicians involved in the league’s protocol. Measures could include fines or suspensions.

[Case Keenum concussion review could prompt changes to NFL’s procedures]

The league has made no announcement on the matter. The league-owned NFL Network and USA Today reported Wednesday that all individuals involved in the NFL’s concussion procedures now will be subject to prospective discipline for future violations. The person with knowledge of the matter confirmed that Thursday and added that teams also could be penalized.

The NFL left open the possibility of discipline for future violations following an incident last month in which St. Louis Rams quarterback Case Keenum remained in a game in Baltimore after displaying concussion symptoms. The league did not discipline the Rams in the matter and its review concluded, according to people familiar with it, that no single party could be blamed specifically for the failure to remove Keenum from the game.

The NFL Players Association declined to comment Thursday, as did officials from several NFL teams, citing the lack of a formal announcement by the league.