Head and neck injuries are a big problem in college football, and that means taking bigger steps to try and prevent them.
The SEC and Big Ten will do just that this season. A medical observer will be placed in the replay booth at every game, and will have access to video and communications equipment to perform their job.
Basically, the observer’s duty is to make sure that nobody is playing with a head or neck injury. If a player does stay in the game with such an injury, it’s the observer’s job to notify the replay officials and medical staff, who will then tell the referees.
The refs will call a medical timeout to talk with the player and notify the coaches of stoppages.
It’s more eyes on the field to ensure player’s safety, but it’ll be important that those eyes are objective. With the change there will be more time for stoppage of play, which teams have been trying to take advantage of for years.