Goodell stresses NFL safety

Feb. 3, 2012 at 9:14 PM
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INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday the league would not "relent" on safety issues, and indicated no pro football expansion is on the horizon.

Goodell, at his annual pre-Super Bowl news conference, faced an assortment of questions concerning the growing unrest among former and current players about concussions. The NFL faces lawsuits from former players alleging the league has attempted to hide the dangers of head trauma and is trying to ignore its responsibility to those who are enduring problems later in life.

Former Dallas star running back Tony Dorsett joined one of the lawsuits this month.

"We will always make sure player safety is a main focus," Goodell said. "We will continue to address medical issues. We will try to help our retired players, current players and future players by making the game safer.

"We're not going to relent on safety. Medical decisions will override competitive decisions. We're all learning (about brain injuries). What I'm proud of is the NFL's leading the way. This is a serious injury and needs to be taken seriously, not just in football, but in all sports."

Goodell had been quoted earlier in the week as saying if the NFL expanded, it would do so by two teams. He downplayed that possibility Friday.

"We have not talked about expansion in the league at all," he said. "It is not on our agenda. I do not see that in the foreseeable future. We want our teams to remain where they are."

Goodell said there would be an increase in the number of Thursday night games played and that the NFL Network's schedule of televised contests would be expanded from eight to 13 next season. He said, however, the thought of having Monday night doubleheaders had not been considered.

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