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NFL says concussions down 13 percent in last year

Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers and the medical staff check out Eric Reid #35 after he received a concussion during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Candlestick Park on November 10, 2013 in San Francisco, California. The Panthers defeated the 49ers 10-9. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jim Harbaugh;Eric Reid

Michael Zagaris

The NFL declared Thursday that concussions in practices and games were down 13 percent from 2012 to 2013.

Via the Associated Press, Jeff Miller, the league’s senior vice president of health and safety policy, called the numbers “positive trends.”

Miller said that in the information compiled from team doctors, there was a 23 percent decrease in concussions caused by helmet to helmet contact last season.

That will only embolden the league to continue levying heavy fines, particularly to repeat offenders. Those numbers, on their face, would seem to indicate progress.

The news comes at a time when the league’s concussion settlement with players is up in the air, though both sides remain optimistic it will be approved.