The number of concussions suffered by NFL players decreased significantly this season, according to the league’s injury data released Thursday.
According to that data, there were 214 concussions suffered by players during the 2018 preseason and regular season. That was down from 281 concussions suffered by players in 2017, a decrease of 24 percent.
The reduction was even sharper during the regular season only. That decrease was 29 percent, from 190 during the 2017 regular season to 135 this season.
“It’s a significant decrease,” Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president of health and safety initiatives, said in a conference call with reporters, “and one we’re pleased with. … While we’re pleased the concussion numbers are down and down significantly, when it comes to the health and safety of our players, there’s no finish line.”
The league enacted a series of measures to attempt to curb the number of concussions after last season’s figure alarmed NFL leaders. Teams were given instructions about the best practices for avoiding concussions, particularly during the preseason. Rules related to kickoffs and players lowering their heads to deliver hits were modified. Players were encouraged to wear better-performing helmets.
“We are excited and grateful about the decrease in concussions,” said Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer. “We talked about a call to action. … We remain very driven and challenged about driving this number down further.”