"Concussed players in NFL Madden prevented from returning to play. Culture change is important," George Atallah's Twitter noted.
So, if Jay Cutler was sacked nine times in a Madden game, like he was against the Giants, he wouldn't be available for the second half. As we learn the debilitating nature of concussions and what their cumulative effect can be on a player, that small change can make a difference.
The NFL put new rules in place regarding concussion for the 2010 season, but rules can't change the way a person feels, acts or thinks about head injuries. No player ever wants to be deemed as "soft," which can lead to a player trying to stay in a game when he clearly shouldn't be playing. The NFL's rules can't change that.
But a video game, especially a wildly successful game like Madden, can. Children playing Madden won't get the message that tough football players play through a concussion. They won't be able to use players who took a bad hit, and they'll understand that brain injuries are not to be trifled with. Adults who play the game -- and there is no shortage of them -- will get used to football players staying out of games for their own health.
It's a small step, but it's one that EA Sports and the NFL should be proud of.