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NFL: Concussions down in 2016 preseason games, practices

HOUSTON -- The NFL reported to owners Tuesday that concussions decreased during the 2016 preseason.

At the annual fall meetings, the league presented the results of a study of concussions suffered in the preseason. According to the detailed study, the total number of concussions dropped from 83 in 2015 to 71 this summer.

The biggest decrease was in the number of concussions suffered in practices. It followed a two-year trend in which the concussion numbers dropped.

In 2014, there were 42 concussions suffered in practices. Concussions in practices dropped to 29 in 2015, and to 26 in '16.

There was also a drop in the number of concussions suffered in preseason games. There were 54 last year, the most over a five-year period. The number was at 45 this year.

According to the NFL, there was a decrease in helmet-to-helmet hits that resulted in a concussion, but there was an increase in the number of shoulder-to-helmet hits that ended up causing a concussion.

Owners were also told there hasn't been an increase in the number of ACL tears in the preseason and that MCL knee injuries that spiked last year leveled off to the normal average this summer.

Tuesday's report also touted the NFL's new "Play Smart, Play Safe" initiative, launched in September, and said the league and its owners have pledged $100 million to support medical research and engineering advances, in addition to $100 million already being spent on medical and neuroscience research.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.