Medical staffs to utilize in-game video

NEW YORK -- The NFL will begin using video monitors on each team's sideline this weekend to help treat injuries.

In a memo sent to the 32 teams and obtained by The Associated Press, the league said the monitors would be used to "allow the medical staff to review the network video of any play during which a player was injured."

Only video of a play during which a player was injured or appears to be hurt can be viewed. A league official must be notified when the monitor is used.

To ensure the equipment is used for checking video of injuries and not for competitive reasons, only a team physician or head athletic trainer can view it. Under no circumstances will coaches, players or anyone else from the teams have access to the equipment.

"It's another in an ongoing series of steps to enhance player safety," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Friday.

Soon after Browns quarterback Colt McCoy was not examined for a concussion following a helmet-to-helmet hit in a game against Pittsburgh on Dec. 8, the league added independent trainers to monitor injuries from the press box. McCoy was allowed to return to the game, and displayed concussion-like symptoms afterward. He did not play again this season.

The Browns said McCoy wasn't showing symptoms of a concussion during the game, so they didn't test him. Team doctors were treating other players and didn't see the impact from James Harrison's hit.

The NFL hopes the monitors on the sideline can help in such scenarios.

Harrison was suspended one game for being a repeat offender of flagrant hits.

The NFL has been addressing procedures for diagnosing and treating concussions for several years. Two weeks after the McCoy hit, the league added the certified athletic trainer, paid by the NFL, to provide medical staffs with "any relevant information that may assist them in determining the most appropriate evaluation and treatment."

The trainers don't diagnose or prescribe treatment and can't order players from games.