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“That’s one good thing (Commissioner) Roger Goodell and the NFL have been doing: The message is that if there’s something wrong with a guy, especially a head injury, you don’t want to rush a guy back or make a little mistake that could mess him up, possibly for life,” New York Jets safety Brodney Pool said.

“I think they’ve been doing a good job of getting things under control and making it harder for guys to get out there,” Pool said. “I mean, this is the guys’ passion, and you want to go out there. You can say, ‘Nah, nothing’s wrong with me,’ but deep down inside, you know something’s wrong.”

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant, who got a concussion in a game last month, has seen a change in the way head injuries are handled.

“It’s more of an active approach from the trainers and the league of the stuff you have to go through after you’re diagnosed with a concussion. It’s not like, ‘He’s a little woozy in the game; we’re going to see how he feels,’” Trufant said. “If you’re woozy or if they see any symptoms of concussion, you have to come out and go through all these tests before you can get back on the field.”

In December 2009, the NFL set up new rules for checking players on the sideline during a game to determine whether they have a concussion or can get back on the field. Last week, Batjer’s committee discussed adopting a league-wide exam so each team would perform the same tests on a player who might have a head injury.

“A couple of team doctors mentioned to me that players in the past would have gone back in had it not been for our return-to-play guidelines. That’s a positive thing,” Goodell said. “But one of the things we’ve got to do is make sure there’s an awareness out there, so that when a player gets an injury, they report the injury to our medical professionals so they can be evaluated and those determinations can be made from a medical standpoint.”


AP Sports Writers Dennis Waszak Jr. in Florham Park, N.J., Larry Lage in Detroit, Tim Booth in Seattle and Josh Dubow in Alameda, Calif., contributed to this report.