In the aftermath of multiple instances of teams commenting on when a player will return from a concussion, the NFL has issued a simple and clear directive: Stop it.
In a memo from executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent to all coaches and General Managers, the league has directed all teams to “refrain from making public comments regarding the condition of a concussed player or speculating as to when he may return to practice and play once in the concussion protocol.”
The memo also instructs teams to respond to inquiries about concussed players by saying “that the player is in the concussion protocol under the supervision of the medical team, and the club will monitor his status.”
It’s the right approach, especially after the confusion that emerged during the on-again, off-again concussion diagnosis applied to Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Once the player is in the protocol, there’s nothing more for the team to say until the team physician and the independent neurologist have cleared the player to return.