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New policy for concussion IDs

BEREA, Ohio — The NFL will require teams to place certified athletic trainers in the press box to help monitor head injuries, a change prompted by the Browns' failure to test quarterback Colt McCoy for a concussion.

League spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that memos would be sent to all 32 clubs by today to explain the protocol, which is expected to begin this weekend.

Aiello said the trainer will monitor the entire game without distraction and inform medical personnel on the sideline of any potential head injuries.

The implementation of the added trainer was first reported by Charley Casserly of CBS.

McCoy is out with the concussion sustained Dec. 8 when he took an illegal helmet-to-face mask hit by Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison. Though he was flattened by the hit, the second-year QB was not tested for a concussion and the Browns sent him back in the game after two plays.

McCoy hasn't been cleared to practice by Browns doctors. Coach Pat Shurmur said Seneca Wallace will likely make his second straight start Saturday in Baltimore.

Elway backs Tebow

Broncos chief of football operations John Elway told the Associated Press he believes Tim Tebow can morph from a scrambling quarterback into a pocket passer, which suggests Elway won't spend a high draft pick on another QB in April.

"Tim Tebow's not going anywhere," Elway said of the former Heisman Trophy winner at Florida. "I mean, he's going to be a Bronco and we're going to do everything we can and hopefully he's that guy."

Elway, who led Denver to five Super Bowls and two titles as a QB, reiterated his intention to work with Tebow during the offseason, something he couldn't do this year because of the lockout.

Last month Elway was asked in a radio interview if he was "any closer to feeling if you have your quarterback on this team?" Elway paused and answered, "No." He then pointed out that Tebow had to do better on third downs and improve as a passer.

"I think that comment was probably a little bit too blunt," Elway said Tuesday. "Because I think the big picture with Tim is we've got to see the whole body of work."

NO MANNING TIME: Peyton Manning will not participate in Colts practices the rest of the season. Two days after the four-time league MVP was ruled out of the final two games, coach Jim Caldwell said Manning won't practice, either. Caldwell said he also believes Manning will be better off recovering from his latest neck surgery through individual work.

MCCLUSTER ROBBED: A man on parole for burglary was charged with burglarizing the Kansas City apartment of Chiefs running back and former Largo High star Dexter McCluster, taking thousands of dollars' worth of electronics, watches and other property. The Jackson County (Mo.) prosecutor's office charged Daniel LaBlance, 31.

TECH: The Super Bowl will be streamed online and to phones in the U.S. for the first time, the league said NBC's broadcasts of wild card Saturday, the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl will be available on the league's and network's websites and through Verizon's NFL Mobile app.

GIANT SUSPECTED: Authorities are investigating a report that linebacker Michael Boley physically abused his 5-year-old son in Gadsden, Ala., his hometown. Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp said an investigation into the allegations made by the child's mother has just begun and that he had not spoken to Boley. The New York Times initially reported the accusations. Boley, 29, is in the third year of a five-year contract worth about $25 million.

BILLS: Tight end Lee Smith went on injured reserve; the rookie free agent hurt his left ankle last weekend.

COWBOYS: Running back Felix Jones missed practice with hamstring tightness.

DOLPHINS: Linebacker Koa Misi went on IR; the team signed quarterback Pat Devlin from its practice squad to fill the spot.

PACKERS: Offensive tackle Derek Sherrod went on IR with a broken right leg; the team signed tackle Herb Taylor.

PATRIOTS: Defensive end Andre Carter, who leads the team in sacks with 10, went on IR with a left quadriceps injury.

SEAHAWKS: Receiver and former Plant High standout Mike Williams (broken left ankle) is out for the season.

STEELERS: Coach Mike Tomlin defended leaving hobbled quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the entire game in Monday's loss at San Francisco, but would not commit to playing the veteran in Saturday's game against the Rams. Roethlisberger, dealing with a high left ankle sprain, was intercepted three times and sacked three times in the 20-3 loss to the 49ers.

New policy for concussion IDs 12/20/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 11:01pm]
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