The NFL players’ union filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking a preliminary injunction barring the league from enforcing a new policy that requires players to submit to blood tests and undergo additional testing, and that has led to an increased risk of complications in the league’s concussion protocol.
The players are seeking a temporary restraining order, which they said is necessary in order to ensure that the league and the union’s concussion committee can continue to work toward a concussions protocol that addresses all players’ risks and not just those who have the most significant symptoms.
In a statement, the NFLPA said: “We are aware of the pending litigation and look forward to an expedited resolution.”
In a conference call Wednesday morning, NFLPA President Donald Sterling said the league had “a plan in place that would prevent players from becoming exposed to the risks of concussions and that includes mandatory blood testing.”
The players’ health group also wants the NFL to ban players from participating in preseason practices, and is suing over the practice.
The NFLPA also says it is seeking an injunction barring an independent review of the NFL’s concussion protocols.
The league’s medical staff and concussion committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the suit, the union argues that the players’ protocol for the NFL is too broad, that it is not consistent with current NFL concussion protocols, and argues that its implementation violates the Players’ Bill of Rights.
“We want the NFL and the NFL concussion committee to put their work into implementing a protocol that’s consistent with all of our players’ current and future health,” said NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.
“The protocol, like all of the players, needs to be tested.
We want to know when a player has symptoms, when they have a concussion, how long they have symptoms, how many days, and the type of injury.
“This report needs to include all of these details. “
Players are entitled to a full, accurate, and transparent report of their concussion symptoms,” the statement said.
“This report needs to include all of these details.
But it also needs to contain details on the nature and duration of the symptoms, including the number and type of concussive events experienced, as well as the duration of symptoms and the frequency of symptoms.
The report also needs details on what was and wasn’t observed during the testing.”
As The Associated Press first reported in July, the league is requiring all teams to collect blood samples and wear masks during preseason practices.
Under the protocol, players are to be cleared for play after three days of testing.
Players are also required to take a blood pressure test every six hours during the week of preseason practice.
“In order to avoid injury, the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, and teammates is our top priority, and while all players should be expected to be able to participate in preseason training practices, there are specific requirements for the implementation of the protocol,” the NFL said in a statement in July.
“As a result, all teams will be required to comply with this protocol, including players who are participating in a preseason training session in the first week of the regular season.”
The league and its players’ association had been preparing to release the full protocol by the end of July, but were forced to suspend that release in early July.
The suspension, the AP reported, was for the duration, not the time of the test.
The union has said the testing requirements are “inappropriate and unreasonable.”
The NFL has said that players are exempt from testing if they are cleared for participation in a practice, but has said it would not be releasing any data regarding whether players who have not taken a test would be considered for inclusion.
“It is our understanding that, for the vast majority of players, the protocols will include some kind of test,” NFLPA Chief Operating Officer David DeCastro said at the time.
“There are those who will say that there are some specific tests that are required for the protocol.
We also understand that there will be some exceptions. “
But it is certainly something that would be appropriate for those players who need to take it.
We also understand that there will be some exceptions.
We are certainly not going take any of the information that we know at this time to suggest that the testing will be completely random.
We just want the players to be in the best position possible to do their job.”