INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - In a game like football, where the hits keep coming, there will be an extra line of defense when it comes to player safety.
The NFL has added two specialists per game called "non affiliated neuro-trauma consultants."
"Our goal is to just keep our eyes on the game the whole time," Dr. Ben Rodgers, Director of Neuro-trauma for the IU Health Neuroscience Center said.
Rodgers was hired to be on the 25-yard line come game-time for the Colts.
"If we see something worrysome that we think someone else didn't notice, we're in radio contact immediately," said Rodgers.
That's radio contact with team trainers. He sees his role as an extra set of eyes, not just on the big plays, but watching players on the sidelines, and in the locker room too, looking for even the subtle signs of injury.
[Players are asked] "a short series of questions: 'What happened on the last play? What's the score? Who scored last? Where was the game last week? What quarter are we in?" -- to determine if he has a concussion.
The addition of the consultants is league-wide. Rodgers and the other specialists watched a film and went through other training specifically for NFL injuries.
"Especially in sporting events, when there's so much else going on and there's so much excitement, even on the players part, some of those symptoms will be ignored, or just not noticed as much," said Rodgers.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for Rodgers, and the other three specialists for the Colts, is that they are all season ticket holders.
"I cannot be a fan on the field. It's all there for business," said Rodgers.
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