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On the eve of Sunday's openers for most teams, the union sent a notice to 2,000 players reminding them of concussion guidelines, and providing more information about the independent sideline concussion experts now assigned to each bench.
The email sent Saturday from NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, which was obtained by ESPN, states: "Before you all take the field tomorrow, we wanted to make sure that you were aware of ... important changes we have implemented to protect your health and safety.
"First, as the NFL announced at the Super Bowl -- at our insistence -- they have agreed to have 'Unaffiliated Neuro-trauma Consultants' this season. These experts are independent of any Club, are specialized in concussion treatment, and are there to observe or perform all concussion examinations.
"... We will continue to stress the importance of workplace safety. If any of you have questions about either of these developments, or if you want to raise issues, please contact your player representative."
The league and the union have agreed that the concussion experts will come from one of three medical specialist fields: 1. Neurologist; 2. Emergency medical doctors; 3. EMT with head-trauma expertise.
The concussion experts, who will not be paid by the teams, will make the determination of whether a player should be taken to the locker room for the X2 Bio concussion test, which is now programmed into an iPad and will take 8 to 12 minutes to complete.