Fox Sports is reporting that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has “agreed to the NFL’s expanded use of its Community Options Program.”
According to a league source, the league is expanding the program to include three additional “options categories” for players who choose to participate.
“The expanded community options will allow for the expansion of the NFL to include all fans of all ages and in all sports leagues,” the source said.
“The program is designed to help players and their families make informed choices about the health and safety of themselves, their families and their communities.”
As with the expanded NFL community option, the expanded options will include an opportunity for players to participate in an in-person meeting and/or on-field workout.
The league’s expanded options program, as we have previously reported, will also allow players to be interviewed by the league’s in-house experts, including a certified physical therapist and an athletic trainer.
The expanded options are being created to address the issue of chronic illness among NFL players.
According to NFL Players Association President Eric Winston, players with a history of chronic illnesses are “a high-risk population for adverse health outcomes, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other conditions that could compromise the performance of their physical and mental health.”
The league is also looking to address a potential safety concern regarding concussions in the game.
“We want to continue to ensure that every player is given a fair shot to play in the NFL, and the expanded Community Options will help us do that,” Winston said.
As previously reported by Fox Sports, NFL commissioner and former New England Patriots star Tom Brady will be on hand for the first time to discuss the expanded community option program.
With the expanded program, Brady will not only be able to speak with players directly but also with a “health and wellness expert” who will also be able speak with a team physician about any injuries or problems the player may have.
The expanded program will also include the NFLPA, which will now have the option to hold an in person meeting with Brady in person at the NFL headquarters.
The new Community Options program will not be the first expansion of NFL options.
In December 2016, the NFL expanded its “Family and Medical Options” program to players age 18-30.
That program will allow NFL players to receive “options” from their families to help them manage their health.
In February 2017, the expansion program for the NFL Family and Medical Benefits was expanded to include younger players, including players under the age of 18.
These expanded options programs will help players to find out how to manage their physical health and to find the best way to participate on the field and in the community.