Medical tents will be a permanent fixture on NFL sidelines this season.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the development at the Spring League Meeting on Tuesday, a few months after the small, mobile units gained popularity at the college level for their ability to aid doctors and trainers in doing their job without a raucous crowd bearing down on them from the stands.
“We also spent a fair amount of time on health and safety as we normally do,” Goodell said. “Dr. [Allen] Sills, our new chief medical officer is here, and he obviously made a presentation to the membership. He’s only three weeks into the job, but there are several things that he reported on, including this year we will be using medical examination tents on the sidelines which you may have seen to some extent on the college level.
“It’s an opportunity for us to have a better examination because it will ensure privacy for a short period of time so doctors can go ahead and make the appropriate diagnosis.”
The tent would save teams time running to a locker room and still grant them the requisite atmosphere to conduct a thorough review. As Jeff Allen, a pioneer in sideline medical tents, told USA Today back in October of last year, the “most critical time in evaluating is five-to-10 minutes after the injury, and to have that type of environment makes a difference.”