THE AFL is strongly considering a request from some coaches to use a substitute player to replace a concussed teammate in 2021 matches.

AFL.com.au has learnt that the initiative was one of many raised by coaches during an at-times tense meeting with AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and football department boss Steve Hocking on Thursday morning, as part of the AFL's wider approach to health and safety.

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While several parties, including the AFL Players Association and AFL Medical Officers Association, will need to approve of the change, some coaches are convinced it will be formalised within days.

Melbourne's Steven May leaves the field after a heavy hit during the 2021 AAMI Community Series. Picture: AFL Photos

The mooted change would need to be officially approved by the AFL Commission before Thursday's night's Richmond-Carlton season-opening match at the MCG.

Already the AFL has ruled for the 2021 season that a player cannot return to playing inside 12 days after suffering concussion.

Coaches have asked for a additional 23rd player to be the concussion sub. Currently, each team is comprised of 18 on-field players and four interchange. 

In the fiery meeting on Thursday, some coaches sought to have interchange rotations increased from the legislated 75 as a means to deal with loss of a concussed player within a match.