The NFL, which began in 1947, began treating players for tobacco withdrawal at its inception in 1954.
It took another four years to get it all done.
That was before the advent of the modern-day concussion protocol.
The league’s first concussion protocol was the one in 1980, and then every year since then, it’s been in effect.
The new concussion protocol includes five things: A protocol for players to take an anti-inflammatory medication called prednisone for two weeks to help reduce inflammation; a protocol for teams to use anti-inflammatories for two or three weeks for players who are diagnosed with a concussion and need to take anti-intervention medications; a concussion protocol for each player that includes anti-tumor medications and the medication prednisolone for the rest of the season; and a protocol to treat players with symptoms consistent with tobacco use during the season, according to the NFL.
The protocol also includes an annual study of concussion rates by state, including data from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
For the 2015-16 season, the league reported an 11.9 percent concussion rate in its first season of the new protocol, a 12.7 percent rate in the second season and an 18.3 percent rate for the final season.
Those numbers do not include data for players diagnosed with other forms of brain injury, including brain injuries caused by head trauma.
For this season, there are no data from a new protocol.
That could mean the league could still be underestimating the number of players with concussion-related symptoms.
A spokesman for the NFL declined to say whether the league is currently studying whether the new concussion protocols are working.