According to data released by the NFL on Thursday, reported concussions rose slightly during the NFL's 2019 preseason and regular season, increasing from 214 in 2018 to 224.

The new total remained below the previous three-year average from 2015 to 2017 (266.3), an outcome that league executives attributed to the permanence of a series of rule and policy changes implemented after the 2017 season.

After recording 281 concussions in 2017, the league overhauled the kickoff and added a new rule that prohibited players from lowering their heads to initiate contact with opponents.