Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Sports

Concussion report indicates sharp rise

The NFL said in a report released Friday that 271 concussions were documented during the 2015 season, an increase of 65 from the previous season. Of those, 182 came in regular-season games.

It is the highest number of reported concussions in an NFL season since 2012, when there were 261 reported.

The NFL revealed the statistics in its annual injury report, which includes concussions from preseason and regular-season practices and games.

NFL officials were encouraged last January when concussion data for 2014 revealed the fewest number of reported concussions since 2012. There were 206 concussions documented in 2014. NFL officials cited changes to in-game rules and practice schedules.

But Jeff Miller, the NFL senior vice president of health and safety policy, said the league's reporting of injuries changed this year to include more than simply players missing games, as in previous years. So it is uncertain if the increase in concussions compared with previous years is significant, or whether the decreased threshold for reporting and diagnosing concussions contributed to the higher incidence.

According to the league, there were eight documented concussions from regular-season practices and 81 during the preseason, including 52 in games.

"I think we're lowering the threshold," said Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, co-chairman of the NFL's head, neck and spine committee. "Years ago, you had to be nearly knocked down or knocked out for it to be called a concussion. Now, if a player gets knocked down and the injury is such that the head hits the ground and they stagger when they get up, the team trainer and physician will pull that player out. We've lowered the threshold."

Super motivation: Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he will be traveling to Super Bowl 50 with the championship ring he won as a linebacker with the Bears in Super Bowl XX. "I've tried to make the point that it represents everything that you've gone through and the people that have played," said Rivera, whose team faces the Broncos on Feb. 7. "It's not necessarily about the ring. It's the people it stands for." But that does not mean he'll be flaunting the ring. Rivera said he's not even sure he will show it to his players before they take the field.

Chargers stay put for now: Chargers chairman Dean Spanos says the team will play in San Diego in 2016 and he'll work with politicians and the business community to try to resolve a long, bitter battle over a new stadium. Spanos' statement was posted on the team's web site shortly after a report said the Chargers had reached a deal to join the Los Angeles Rams in a stadium expected to open in Inglewood in 2019.

Chiefs: Tight end Travis Kelce signed a $46 million, five-year extension. The deal includes $20.5 million in guarantees, the Associated Press reported. Kelce, 26, signed the deal while in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.

Eagles: Offensive tackle Lane Johnson signed a six-year extension through the 2021 season, profootballtalk.com reported. The deal was reported to be worth up to $63 million, with $35.5 million guaranteed.

Lions: Matt Harriss was named vice president for football administration. Harriss spent the past 10 seasons with the Giants' football operations department.

Comments
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

NEW YORK — Phil Mickelson has apologized four days after intentionally violating golf rules by hitting a moving ball on the green at the U.S. Open, saying his frustration got the best of him. The apology came Wednesday in a statement released by his ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Growing up, Kevin Knox II watched videos or listened to motivational tapes during car rides to and from school so he could learn how to expand upon answers in interviews.That was all by design.His father, Kevin Knox Sr., knew about the spotlight as a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

The Tampa Bay Lightning will announce their full 2018-19 schedule on Thursday, but the league announced each home opener Wednesday, with Tampa Bay playing host to the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Oct. 6.The Lightning will know their ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

For the first time in almost two decades, Florida and Florida State will open the men's basketball season against each other.The Seminoles will host UF on Nov. 6, both programs announced Wednesday morning. FSU has won four in a row in the series."Any...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to discuss Kevin Kiermaier's return to the Rays, whether Victor Hedman should win the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, Bucs expectations for this season and Barry Trotz's next c...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County girls basketball team

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County girls basketball team

Player of the Year: Kaliah Henderson, Jr., RobinsonFirst teamG Brylee Bartram, Jr., Seffner ChristianG Jacquelyn LeVay, Sr., AlonsoF/G Tarriyonna Gary, So., Carrollwood DayF Tiasia McMillan, So., Carrollwood DayC Kendal Cheesman, Fr., PlantSecond tea...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Pinellas County girls basketball team

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Pinellas County girls basketball team

Player of the Year: November Morton, Sr., CountrysideFirst teamG Paris Williams, Sr., LakewoodG Summer Quigley, Jr., East LakeF Toi Smith, Sr., LakewoodF/G Carrie Lee, Sr., ClearwaterC Macey Zeh-Arndt, So., LakewoodSecond teamG Misha O'Neal, Sr., Cou...
Updated: 9 hours ago
How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

There was some interesting inside baseball elements that factored into the late innings of Tuesday's 2-1 Rays win.* First, on Matt Duffy's double off reliever Hector Rondon to lead off the eighth.Duffy said he doesn't like "to guess" what a pitcher i...
Updated: 9 hours ago