Goodell says concussions declined in 2021 despite addition of 17th game

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the early returns on the 17-game season are positive.

Goodell said that the NFL actually saw fewer concussions in 2021 than in 2020, despite playing one more week’s worth of regular-season games.

“On the concussion front, we actually had less concussions in the 17-game format than we had in the 16-game format,” Goodell said. “Even in Week 18, which we’d never had a Week 18 before, we saw less injuries in Week 18 and in the postseason.”

Goodell says he has asked players about it and hasn’t heard a negative word, and he believes the NFL Players Association would agree.

“The initial reaction is positive,” Goodell said.

Realistically, it’s hard to see how increasing the number of games won’t increase the number of injuries. But through the first year of a longer season, the league is pleased with the results.