New ATC spotter procedure apparently misses a concussion


For several years, the NFL has used ATC spotters to identify players who potentially have suffered concussions and to remove them from play. This year, ATC spotters have the ability to call a timeout in order to ensure that no one falls through the cracks.

On Sunday, in the game between the Lions and the Vikings, a concussion may have fallen through the cracks.

Minnesota guard Brandon Fusco emerged from the game with a concussion. Via, Fusco apparently suffered the concussion on the last play of the third quarter.

Fusco pulled from the left guard position, made helmet-to-helmet contact with a Detroit defender, and then fell to the ground. After being helped up, the game wasn’t stopped.

The game wasn’t stopped even though the third quarter was ending. And so it seems that the ATC spotter simply missed this one. Which makes the power to stop the game meaningless, if the ATC spotter doesn’t realize the game should be stopped.

The good news is that Fusco appears to be fine. After missing practice on Wednesday, he returned to practice on Thursday. Still, he played an entire quarter with an apparent concussion; a second concussion could have led to a serious health consequence.

19 responses to “New ATC spotter procedure apparently misses a concussion

  1. Just because they missed one doesn’t mean the system is useless, it just means they have humans doing it and they’re gonna miss one once in awhile

  2. ATC protocol works both ways. In the Bills vs Colts game, the Bills starting RT was pulled for a quarter through the ATC for 2 drives even though no head injury was found.

    You can miss either way, lets just hope a miss doesnt change the outcome of a game.

  3. I agree with the function, but the expectation that they spot ever concussion is silly. Guys are always banging heads and guys are always getting up slow – it’s a really fast, violent and dangerous game. Pointing out each miss is crappy.

  4. Get off the flipping high horse.

    Maybe you should spot concussions and have people write opinion articles about how you let the entire nfl player safety program down if you miss one.

  5. Football was intended to be a contact sport. Pads & helmets changed into a collision sport.

    Face it folks, it’s still bread & circuses. Will we see a gladiator go down?

    Lose the pads & helmets and injuries will decline rapidly.

    But why bother? After all, we pay them a lot of money so we deserve to see these guys tear each other apart. Heck, last week the Dirty Dozen of Haternation was salivating at the thought of someone taking out Brady’s knees. Nice.

    These are people, not Rock em Sock em Robots.

  6. I’ve already seen a couple cases of them pulling seemingly fine players out for the concussion protocol.

    This is simply another way for the league to influence games when they want to. Its clear they have zero actual interest in player safety.

  7. The dazed look in his eyes is very common around Minneapolis, it comes from being told you are the greatest all spring long and then finding out once the games start that you just Paper Champions, the real football teams can beat .500 teams.

  8. Maybe you should go to a game sometime and you might notice a football field is a big place and some of these situations are understandably going to be missed.

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