NFL tells teams to stop commenting about concussed players

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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.

48 responses to “NFL tells teams to stop commenting about concussed players

  1. With the entire country now knowing that Troy Vincent is NOT smarter than a 5th grader, how can any memo from him be taken seriously?

  2. … and told parents to stick their heads in the sand while attending their children’s football games.

  3. So what changed other than the front office believing the new non-speak approach will limit their brain damage payouts. Whatever. Good luck with that.

  4. Wouldn’t that type of response be more along the line BB would use anyway? After all he’s not a doctor…. Yet because HE would respond that way the MEDIA would crucify him for it…..
    Too funny!!!

  5. Hold on a second. Florio usually (and correctly) advocates for league transparency. Now he’s praising secrecy?

    Aren’t there phases of the protocol? What possible harm could come from a simple update when a player has passed a phase? Fans might be concerned with the player’s health.

  6. The nfl’s position weakens EVERY day

    1. The player lawsuits will succeed
    2. Cities control the stadiums
    3. Roger works for the BROADCASTERS, not the owners

    NFL owners and tv networks are idiots to keep GOODELL until thanksgiving

    The NFL needs to FIRE GOODELL before thanksgiving in order to save itself.

  7. Is it really any wonder why soccer is exploding in america?

    I’m a father of 3, played basketball, baseball, football, and soccer growing up. Played for state, college in soccer.

    By far and away, I promote soccer/baseball.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one… is it really a wonder that football viewer ship is declining?

    Media moguls have known this, hince the growing popularity in soccer and baseball even again.

    – signed guy who watches futbol on Saturday/Sunday mornings over football now.

  8. Uncle Troy’s boot-licking is so transparent as to be an embarrassment. But, with a closet full of b.s. awards and honors for “being a really, really good person who always does the right thing”, it’s doubtful he’ll ever change course — at the age of 46, right on track to become the first black commissioner.

  9. Tell you what – Godell says, he says – you stop talking about concussions sheee, and we’ll make sure some calls go your way.

  10. All they need to do now is stop having company employees stop giving out drug related information to the general public. Memos like this to out for one reason and one reason only. They were advised by their legal dept to do so.

  11. Fire Goodell!

    There is NO WAY he believes all of his BS!

    The problem is that Goodell blatantly favors a few teams over all the others.

    Denver, Baltimore, Indy, and both New Jersey teams…

    Those 5 teams are nailed time, after time, after time, after time, cheating, violating rules, special treatment, embarrassing the League.

  12. So you mean after all this time being hard on Bill Belichick and his approach to reporting injuries it is now in fact the correct one… well aint that something!!!

  13. The whole Player Safety initiative seems to be in a worse place than it was when the league introduced it as a high priority several years back.

    I hope they can really make some headway moving forward because the players’ brains are still consistently getting crushed without penalties of any kind to act as a deterrent.

  14. One of the biggest draws to the NFL is Fantasy football. Knowing the progress of a concussion is vital to a fantasy strategy. Take that away and watch ratings drop even further.

  15. The NFL is now run like a government, no straight talk and tons of secrecy.

    Keep digging that grave, Roger.

  16. On a side note – can we change the MNF crew? Mike Tirico sucks.


    Someone contributing to the ratings slide has been identified.


    Tirico isn’t to blame. He’s not on MNF…don’t know what you are watching!

  17. The player hurt his ankle.

    “the player is in the ankle protocol under the supervision of the medical team, and the club will monitor his status.”

    No more “he may put some extra tape on it” or other secret info will be revealed.

  18. mattbilleauthor says:
    Nov 11, 2016 8:25 PM
    Cut Vincent some slack. He came out of a horrifically abusive childhood to be an NFL star and executive. And on this issue, he’s right.
    Besides his embarrassing deflategate testimony isn’t he the same person caught on tape telling Adrian Peterson one thing about his punishment and then denied saying it once question?

  19. So “we as fans ” can’t hear about the progress of players on our fav. team that was concussed ?
    NO WONDER THE RATINGS ARE GOING DOWN, we can’t follow our fav. teams anymore

  20. It may be the right approach for the players but it also could be a way for a small number of people to know if a player can be ready to play or not which could be a massive gambling advantage on aggregate.

  21. Why, NFL, why?

    Fans of teams, fantasy owners and gamblers all want this information.

    Why hold back? Hasn’t the NFL had enough bad publicity in the last few years? Aren’t ratings down? Why upset your hardcore fans?

    Another great move by ole Roger Goodell!

  22. I recall a time where the NFL made sure that the phrase “Brady destroyed his phone” was heard by everyone. The NFL knew that gullible people would envision someone taking a blunt instrument to a helpless phone and would assume that evidence that was destroyed.

    Tom Brady voluntarily provided the NFL with log information from his personal telephone. Brady had zero obligation to provide that information. Soon after the information was provided the media obtained a message discussing Tom Brady’s dissatisfaction with a swimming pool cover and a comment mentioning “Peyton Manning”. Now those comments are permanently available online for everyone to read until the end of time.

    If Tom Brady had handed over his Personal Telephone the NFL would have had access to, his address book, private messages, and photographs. Plus names of the doctors and that are used by the Brady family. All private information.

    Only complete fools, having limited critical thinking skills and no understanding of the concept of individual privacy, were gullible enough get duped into believing the “didn’t cooperate with an investigation” nonsense.

    The NFL already had the 2 telephones that were owned by the Patriots and were used by the 2 equipment guys. The NFL also had the log information that Tom Brady provided. Which means that the NFL already had 2 sources to see all information related to conversations with the equipment guys. Which also means that Tom Brady could not withhold relevant information when he provided the logs.

    It also means that the “destroyed phone” contained no unknown information related to the investigation. Let this concept sink in….There was no evidence on the telephone!

    What the personal telephone did contain is private information related to Tom Brady’s family and friends. Information that tabloids would be willing to pay for. (Now remember that personal information had already been leaked to the media).

    The recent election should demonstrate how important it was for the NFL to never see that telephone. Brady’s address book contained the private contact information for a future President. In addition to countless A-List celebrities and both current and retired athletes. Tom Brady had the right and obligation to keep it all private.

    The NFL had no right to examine his personal telephone and Tom Brady had zero obligation to let them. It’s called privacy and in this country you don’t have to prove your innocence. Remember the NFL is not a law enforcement agency.

    If the NFL had asked, should Tom Brady have been obligated to let the NFL search his home while a camera crew filmed the search? Then if Tom Brady refused the home search should he have been suspended for “not cooperating with an investigation”.

    Or is Tom Brady just obligated to hand over a personal telephone because it’s more portable than a house? I don’t believe that convenience is a determining factor that should eliminate someone’s right to privacy.

    If convenience was relevant then people with small homes should be more obligated to allow home searches by their employers than those with large homes. It won’t take long to search a small home so what’s the harm? If you are not guilty then why wouldn’t you let anyone that accuses you of something search your home?

    Would you support random home searches to make people can prove they are innocent? Or is searching through someone’s private property acceptable only after the NFL make up false PSI information and blames someone for what the weather does naturally?

  23. ricko1112 says:
    Nov 11, 2016 10:27 PM

    ……..The problem is that Goodell blatantly favors a few teams over all the others.

    Denver, Baltimore, Indy, and both New Jersey teams…

    You forgot to add the Patriots. Wasn’t it on this site that it was disclosed that Goodell’s sole purpose in suspending Brady was to give the Patriots the opportunity to develop his replacement Garoppolo? I sure believed it.

  24. Has anyone noticed all the NFL slots on tv against domestic violenace have literally disappeared ? I can’t remember seeing one this year.
    NFL is writing its own obituary

  25. tunechi90 says:

    On a side note – can we change the MNF crew? Mike Tirico sucks.

    Cut Jon Gruden first. The guy knows zero about football. According to him EVERY player is the greatest to ever play the game.

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