The NFL has made it a priority this year to educate players on the impact of concussions.
A new warning poster (which can be seen here) has been placed in every NFL locker room, and players have been told that reporting and properly treating concussions is vital to their long-term health.
Offensive tackle Tony Moll is the first Ravens player this season to suffer a concussion, and as could be expected, Moll is taking things slowly as he tries to work his way back onto the field.
The five-year veteran has been out of practice for the last 10 days, and while Moll feels like he's "almost there", he wants to make sure he's fully healthy before strapping on the pads again.
"I'm definitely progressing every day," Moll said yesterday. "There are still some lasting little headaches and stuff like that we're trying to get rid of. Concussions are definitely something the NFL has been focusing on, especially this year. So more than ever before, we're taking it very seriously, which I think is a good thing.
"But I'm doing everything I can to stay in shape and we're trying to get ready to roll. I'm still helping out and doing whatever I can."
One tool that teams use to determine when a player is able to return to football activities is the baseline test.
The test is initially given to players before training camp starts. It tests things such as the player's memory, decision-making, and how quickly he can retrieve words.
After a player suffers a concussion, he is given the test again and doctors compare those results to the baseline. Based on the differences, they can determine how serious the concussion is and which parts of the brain are most affected.
When the player's post-concussion test resembles the baseline which he took prior to the injury, he can be cleared to play.
"It's a good thing, because when you do that test, it's a lot of memorization, and quick reactions and things like that," Moll said. "Being able to stay up with the baseline shows that your brain is ready to get out there and be able to handle things at the NFL speed."
Moll, who was getting reps at right tackle with the first-team prior to his concussion, is in a tough spot. He's itching to get back to practice and try and make up for some lost time, but he knows he needs to be careful not to return before he's truly ready.
"It's definitely getting frustrating and is very challenging, especially [since] this isn't an issue I've had before," he said. "I don't know how to really handle it, but we're working through it and hopefully sooner than later, I'll be out here."