Feb 10, 2023 - Sports

Super Bowl 2023: How the NFL prepares for possible player injuries

A man holds an ipad inside a blue tent.

NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills shows reporters the concussion protocol checklist inside one of the blue sideline injury tents. Photo: Jessica Boehm/Axios

After Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin's startling cardiac arrest during a game last month, football fans are paying more attention to player safety than ever before.

State of play: NFL medical officials gave us a tour of State Farm Stadium on Thursday to explain safety protocols used to ensure players receive elite care.

Of note: The medical procedures will be no different this weekend from any other NFL game this season, chief medical officer Allen Sills told us.

By the numbers: There will be more than 30 doctors working the game and they can use 69 field-facing cameras to review injuries.

  • Two ambulances park just off the field to transport players to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, a level I trauma center and home to the Barrow Neurological Institute, if needed.
A man wearing a headset in a box above a football field.
Dr. Robb Rehberg pushes the button that would alert referees to call a medical timeout. Photo: Jessica Boehm/Axios

3 things we learned: Any doctor, teammate, coach or referee can ask for a player to be evaluated for a concussion.

  • There is a button in a booth above the field that alerts referees to stop the game for a medical timeout if an athletic trainer sees a possible head or neck injury.
  • All doctors and the game-day referees meet 60 minutes before kickoff to walk through emergency procedures one final time.

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