Chairs of NFL concussion committee resign

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Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a wide-ranging memo about concussions to NFL teams yesterday, saying the co-chairmen of the league's committee on brain injuries have resigned and that he is examining potential rule changes "to reduce head impacts."

Goodell wrote that Dr. Ira Casson and Dr. David Viano, who have led the league committee on concussions since 2007, "have graciously offered to resign from those positions and to continue to assist the committee in its important work. We have accepted those resignations and are currently identifying their replacements."

Goodell said he wants to add new members "who will bring to the committee independent sources of expertise and experience in the field of head injuries."

Casson has come under attack recently from the NFL Players Association and members of Congress for criticizing independent and league-sponsored studies linking NFL careers with heightened risk for dementia and cognitive decline.

Goodell also said he met Monday with competition committee co-chair Rich McKay to review specific types of plays with an eye to evaluating possible rules changes "to reduce head impacts and related injuries in a game setting."


Buffalo began reinforcing its injury-depleted offensive line by signing veteran guard Kendall Simmons. Simmons is an eight-year NFL veteran who joins the Bills (3-7) after being released by New England Nov. 9. Selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 2002 draft, Simmons started 80 games for the Steelers before being waived in September.

Also, sources are saying that Buffalo considers two-time Super Bowl-winner Mike Shanahan a legitimate candidate to be their next head coach. A person familiar with the Bills' search said that the team has contacted the former Broncos' coach.


Dallas coach Wade Phillips is tired of hearing the league apologize for officiating mistakes. Dallas was on the wrong end of incidents involving replay in its past two games. "Well, I mean, it shouldn't [happen]," he said. "That's what they're paid to do. They're paid to go by the rules and make sure they know whether a team can challenge or whether a team can review something or not. That's what the officials are paid to do."


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