The NFL announced 214 diagnosed concussions in 2018, which is down from the 281 in 2017.
NFL players had fewer diagnosed concussions during the 2018 regular season than they did in ’17, NFL.com's Judy Battista reported on Thursday. The NFL announced 214 diagnosed concussions in 2018's preseason and regular season, which is down from the 281 in ’17.
According to Battista, the league's new numbers show a 24% decrease in concussions during the preseason and regular season and a 29% decrease during the regular season including practices. The number of diagnosed concussions went from 190 in 2017 to 135 in ’18.
The number of diagnosed concussions in 2018—214—is the second-fewest since the NFL started releasing concussion data in 2012. The fewest was 206 in 2014.
NFL medical officials cautioned that it is too soon to know what caused the shift, the league's heightened efforts this season will be taken into consideration. The NFL passed a rule that prevented players from using the helmet to initiate contact during the last offseason. Rule changes were also made to kickoffs to improve player safety.
More players also wore advanced helmets this season than in years prior. According to Battista, 74% of players now use them compared to just 41% in 2017. The lowest-performing helmets will be banned by the start of next season.
The league's health and safety specialists will spend time reviewing the data in hopes of providing a clearer picture to what led to the decrease by the NFL Scouting Combine in February.