The NFL will be investigating the question of whether Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore’s quick return to Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh violated the concussion protocol. The NFL Players Association will be investigating it, too.
The NFLPA has announced that it “will review the application of the Concussion Protocols by Miami’s medical staff in connection with the hit by Pittsburgh’s Bud Dupree on Miami quarterback Matt Moore in Sunday’s Dolphins-Steelers game.”
Moore missed only one play after being blasted by Dupree, and some believed that it seemed at times after his return that Moore may not have completely had his wits about him.
Prior to the 2016 season, the league and the union agreed to a procedure that entails both sides conducting their own investigations, with an arbitrator ultimately resolving any impasse regarding whether a violation occurred. The Cam Newton situation arising from the first game of the regular season resulted in a joint agreement aimed at ironing out lingering loopholes that rendered the failure of the independent monitor to remove Newton from the field technically justifiable.
This time around, it will be interesting to see if the NFL and the NFLPA agree on whether a violation did or didn’t occur and, if so, what will be done about it.
The mere existence of the investigation doesn’t mean there was a violation. However, the investigation confirms that at least some suspicion exists that something may have gone wrong — and the circumstances are potentially more egregious than they were in Newton’s case because Moore’s hit came in the first half. Newton’s happened late in a close game.
It’s understandable that, with so many people having the ability to yank a player off the field for a full evaluation, each will be inclined to let someone else be the one who pulls the trigger. That temptation should be reduced in the first half of a game; the fact that it was a playoff game may have contributed to the collective failure to be more vigilant about getting more properly checked.