NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL is encouraged by progress made in reducing concussions while stressing there is much more work to be done.On Thursday http://www.bengalscheapstore.com/jonah-williams-jersey-cheap , the league said the number of concussions dropped 29 percent in 2018 from the previous season, according to preliminary data. It added that there were 135 documented concussions, down from 190. By including preseason games and practices, concussions fell from a high of 281 to 214, a 23.8 percent decrease. That was the lowest total since the 2014 season (206 reported concussions).Of the 538 evaluations for concussions, the league says, 75 percent ultimately showed no concussions.“As we like to say,” noted Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president of health and safety, “while we’re pleased with the fact that concussion numbers are down — and down significantly this year — when it comes to the health and safety of our players, there’s no finish line. This is a multi-year process. We’ll keep at this and we’ll try to figure out why these changes happened Drew Sample Jersey , and we’ll try to figure out where we set goals. There’s still room for improvement.”The league began releasing concussion data in 2012.“It’s a significant decrease … but we’re also more interested in why that decrease happened, as opposed to what the number is,” Miller said. “That’s the sort of work we need to roll up our sleeves and do between now and the (NFL) combine (next month).”The league also shared data with seven teams whose 2017 training camp practices resulted in a higher number of concussions. Six of those teams saw a reduction in training camp concussions in 2018, according to Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer.Sills said the other 25 teams would also receive such information this year.A commitment to in-depth helmet research helped lead to fewer concussions as well. The NFL created a checklist for players, ranking helmets in either green, yellow or red categories. Those in the red area will be banned starting this year.For the 2017 season finale, 41 percent of the players wore the higher-rated helmets. In 2018, that increased to 74 percent, while only 2 percent stuck with the lowest-ranked helmets thanks to a one-year grandfather clause.More helmet testing will be done this year, with perhaps as many as 10 new models.“We are excited and grateful for the changes that we’ve seen http://www.bengalscheapstore.com/germaine-pratt-jersey-cheap ,” Sills said, “and we feel like this decrease is not a random variance but a reflection that the data-driven approach has made an impact.”Also being researched are mouth guards with data-gathering sensors similar to what the University of Virginia team used in 2018. Miller said some players, likely on four teams, will test them.The league also says the number of anterior cruciate ligament tears increased by three to a total to 57. And medial cruciate ligament injuries that caused players to miss playing time were down by 12, from 143 to 131. Sills said the NFL will target reducing other injuries, particularly to the lower body, this year. Among the categories to be researched are turf, cleats, training regimens, and the mechanics of the injuries.“This is not a one-year project,” he said. “It’s an ongoing commitment on our part to drive down injuries Ryan Finley Jersey , not only concussions, but also other parts of the body.” While the NFL office continues to receive high grades for its racial hiring practices, a diversity report shows there are still major strides needed at the team level.The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport released its annual racial and gender report card Wednesday, giving the NFL as a whole an A- for its racial hiring — the ninth straight year it has received a grade or A- or better. The league received a C for gender hiring, giving it an overall grade of a B in racial and gender hiring practices.While the study’s author Richard Lapchick said the league’s grade for racial hiring was “impressive,” he cautioned that the league’s 32 teams simply need to do a better job of hiring people of color.“It shows that across the league, particularly from the commissioner’s office, that there’s an attempt to have a strong base for diversity,” Lapchick said. “But the league is way ahead of the teams, particularly in (hiring at) senior level positions for women and people of color.”The study found that of the 32 general managers, only four — or 12.5 percent — are people of color. Lapchick said that doesn’t adequately reflect a league whose players are made up predominantly (72.6 percent) of people of color.The TIDES report was based on the 2018 season http://www.bengalscheapstore.com/renell-wren-jersey-cheap , so it was completed before five coaches of color were fired in the days after the season. That leaves only three coaches of color in the NFL currently — Los Angeles Chargers‘ Anthony Lynn, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and Carolina’s Ron Rivera — although the Miami Dolphins are expected to hire Patriots assistant coach Brian Flores, who is black, after New England is finished playing in the Super Bowl.In 2017, the NFL matched its all-time high of eight head coaches of color first reached in 2011 with the addition of Vance Joseph in Denver and Lynn.The NFL has worked this past year to strengthen the Rooney Rule, a mandate that coaches of color must be interviewed for any vacant head coaching position. The new rules state that teams are now required to go outside of their own organizations to interview a candidate of color or interview a candidate who is on the league’s career development advisory panel.Lapchick said based on the history of the NFL racial and gender hiring report, the coaching changes are a cyclical thing and he’s confident it will swing back up with more coaches of color being hired in the future.Still, he said, four coaches of color are far too few.TIDES announced Wednesday it was not releasing the number of people of color in NFL coordinator positions because of a discrepancy they found in the report.The coordinator position was a point of concern two years ago when Lapchick said he was bothered by the lack of progress at that position, considering most head coaches first serve as coordinators. The percentage of assistant coaches of color dipped slightly from 31.9 percent a year ago to 31.4 percent in 2017.In terms of gender hiring, Lapchick said generally speaking none of the professional teams aren’t doing well with the exception of the NBA Michael Jordan Jersey , where anticipates it won’t be long before there is a female coach.“That is something we have to pay more attention to,” Lapchick said of the low gender hiring numbers.The issue, of course, is the NFL is a league made up of — and played — historically by men, which leaves women at a distinct disadvantage of getting hired.But Lapchick still sees a niche in NFL teams where women can flourish on the business side.“A woman can be trained equally as well as a man can,” Lapchick said.