NFL, NFLPA announce changes stemming from Tom Savage concussion

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The NFL and NFL Players’ Association jointly stated today that no one will be disciplined despite a clear breakdown that led to Texans quarterback Tom Savage returning to the field after suffering a concussion that left him visibly struggling.

In the joint statement, the league and the union referred to the incident as “unacceptable” and said it is proof that the concussion protocol needs improvement. But no one will be punished for violating the league’s concussion rules.

Instead, a series of changes to the concussion protocol have been implemented. Those include:

— A neurotrauma consultant based at the league office will be monitoring games on television and able to contact the on-site medical staff immediately to instruct them to take players off the field if they have exhibited signs of concussion.

— Players who exhibit signs of either “defined impact seizure” or “fencing responses” will be removed from games and not permitted to return.

— Any player who stumbles or falls to the ground while trying to stand after a hit to the head must be taken to the locker room for a thorough evaluation and not just evaluated on the sideline.

— Officials, players and coaches have been told to take any injured player directly to a member of the medical staff if they suspect the player needs a concussion assessment.

— Every player who undergoes a concussion evaluation during a game must also have a follow-up evaluation the next day, even if he passes the in-game evaluation.

— All postseason games will have three neurotrauma consultants on site, rather than the standard of two for regular-season games.

The incident with Savage was an ugly one that the NFL needs to ensure doesn’t happen again.

23 responses to “NFL, NFLPA announce changes stemming from Tom Savage concussion

  1. Seachickens get fined for not following the protocol, even though it *appeared* Wilson was ok…Texans get away with not following the protocol even though it was OBVIOUS that Tom Savage got his brain scrambled on that hit?

    Not a fan of either team, but there was clearly a breakdown and the same fine would not be out of the question…

    NFL: Not applying the same punishments since forever…

  2. Things like this happened in NE too (Brady), and Pittsburgh (Big Ben every time he plays the Ravens), but they are successful at hiding the concussion. NFL needs to step up.

  3. How wasn’t this part of the protocol before? Do you really need to see a player having a seizure on the ground before making a rule that they shouldn’t be immediately allowed back in the game?

    I can’t wait until next season when a players brain falls out of his ear and finishes the drive, then we can get a “players brain must be inside their head at all times” rule.

  4. Anyone who witnessed that when it happened had to know it was the last straw. Glad to see updated measures being taken. We love big hits, but we’re talking human lives first and foremost.

  5. Liquidzoo:

    It was not exactly the same thing. Savage was removed and *actually* was checked out by the doctors. The reason the Seahawks were fined is they didn’t check him as instructed.

  6. Typical NFL/NFL player critic – “They’re paid millions of dollars, they knew the risks. I don’t care if their brains become like scrambled eggs. They only exist to entertain me”.

  7. Everybody saw him having a seizure on the field except for the Texans, right.

    The NFL has zero credibility and therefore zero future.

  8. This should have happened after Case Keenum was obviously concussed a season or two ago.

    What does it take to get disciplined there at the league office?

  9. This union leadership has no onions whatsoever… it’s all a reactive measure… in conjunction with the owners… its a joke

  10. Don’t those luxury boxes and coaches’ boxes have TVs in them? How could someone from the team management not have seen the live feed of the guy’s arms shaking like Frankenstein? Couldn’t someone from upstairs call down to the field?

  11. RavenzGunnerz says:
    December 29, 2017 at 11:20 am
    Things like this happened in NE too (Brady), and Pittsburgh (Big Ben every time he plays the Ravens), but they are successful at hiding the concussion. NFL needs to step up.

    They have no incidents on Brady, and as careful as they are with him he would be a quick pull for evaluation if he ever showed any signs. And saying we never see signs because they are hiding it is really just another way saying that you have no evidence but want to think so anyways.

    I havent watched every play but generally Big Ben looks fine against the Ravens as far as concussion symptoms go. I have seen them hurt him other ways though.

    Although I still pick th Patriots to win the AFC I do think the Ravens are a bigger threat to that than the Steelers are.

  12. dg0122 says:
    December 29, 2017 at 11:18 am
    what about changes based on what Russell Wilson did?

    They do need to step it up on the protecting of players from themselves.they do it some but they have to be willing to stand up to a player no matter how hard they are pushing back. In a case like Wilson where he was ignoring instruction, refusing examination, and putting himself back in the game without clearance they should be willing to just halt the game and tell the guy it stays halted until he gets back off the field. Charge his team a timeout so guys have that incentive not to pull that stuff. The Seahawks coaching staff definately should have been more supportive of the guys Wilson was blowing off, thats really why they deserved the fine, so penalzing teams (and right there because that game that moment us all they care about) would encourage coaching staffs to not play games either.

  13. jlkintyre says:
    December 29, 2017 at 12:00 pm
    Duuuuuude, everything’s gonna be fine man! The league’s gonna be monitoring this from NY. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

    Lol, best comment on this feed.

  14. joetoronto says:
    December 29, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Everybody saw him having a seizure on the field except for the Texans, right.

    The NFL has zero credibility and therefore zero future.

    Wrong. Nobody saw him having a seizure on the field until a few plays later when the TV crew not only replayed him on the ground, but replayed in slow motion so you could definitely see his arms locking up. His actual locking of arms lasted only a couple of seconds then he got back up on his own. It took place in the end zone and everyone was watching the ball and the play downfield.

  15. IgnorantLeftist says:
    December 29, 2017 at 11:42 am
    Let’s hope this doesn’t decide a playoff game or the league and ratings will take another hit.

    This is where the NFL has it rough because measures like this, while well intended, also incentivize headhunting because the tighter proceedures make it easier to get a guy off the field. So in conjunction with this they have to be more willing to jump on any sign of that as well.

  16. Vegas is going to love this rule. I can see it now. A big game, tons of money invested, and a key player taken out of a game because of some NFL decision from some fellow based in NY.

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