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NFL to use sideline tents for medical staff

An NFL logo is seen on goalpost padding at a preseason game between the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns in Detroit on Aug. 9, 2014.
An NFL logo is seen on goalpost padding at a preseason game between the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns in Detroit on Aug. 9, 2014.
(Rick Osentoski / Associated Press)

In hopes of providing some semblance of privacy on a busy sideline, the NFL will use on-field tents this season to serve as examination rooms for players who might be concussed.

A small, collapsible tent will be positioned behind each team’s bench for games, starting with the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night between Arizona and Dallas. The tent will be positioned around an examination table, and can be pulled up like a hood then lowered when the medical personnel are finished.

“We believe that the sideline medical tent will improve care for our players by increasing privacy and providing the player and the physician with a distraction-free environment to conduct a variety of medical evaluations,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s new chief medical officer.

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Similar tents have gained wide acceptance in college football games.

“It makes sense to have a little bit of privacy when you’re doing an assessment, to try to reduce some of the distractions that can occur, just visually,” said Dr. Vernon Williams, director of the Los Angeles-based Kerlan-Jobe Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine.

“It gives you a quiet environment so the players can hear the questions and focus on the answers. You can actually darken it a little bit, so you can get a look at eyes and pupil responses. So from a medical standpoint, I think it’s beneficial.”

sam.farmer@latimes.com

Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter @LATimesfarmer

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