NFL players suffered fewer concussions on kickoffs during the 2018 season than they did in '17, according to TheWashington Post's Mark Maske.
According to Maske, league medical officials reported a 35% decrease in concussions that occurred on kickoffs. The number of diagnosed concussions went from 20 in 2017 to 13 in '18. Compared to the three-year average of concussions on kickoffs, the league saw a 38% reduction in 2018.
"It seemed to have the result that the competition committee wanted," NFL executive vice president of health and safety Jeff Miller said, per the Post.
Officials believe the league's new kickoff rules impacted the results. The new rules included eliminating players on the kicking team from getting a running start before the kick, creating a no-blocking buffer zone between the two teams and eliminating all forms of “wedge” blocking with two or more players by the returning team.
In January, the NFL reported a 24% decrease in concussions during the preseason and regular season, as well as a 29% decrease during the regular season including practices.
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.