PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Critics of the NFL's proposed $1 billion plan to settle concussion claims say a league official's acknowledgement of a link between football and the brain disease CTE is a game changer.

A federal appeals court in Philadelphia is weighing a challenge to the settlement that would exclude future cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The pending deal would instead pay for prior deaths involving CTE and for illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Critics want the plan expanded to include future CTE cases.

NFL senior vice president Jeff Miller told a congressional panel Monday that brain research on former NFL players "certainly" shows a link between football and CTE.

The NFL has long argued otherwise.

Lawyer Steven Molo urged the court Tuesday to expand the settlement based on Miller's comments.