Patriots safety Patrick Chung left Sunday’s game after taking a hit in the second quarter, then returned to the game, only to come out of the game for good at halftime. The Patriots announced that Chung had a concussion.
But did he suffer the concussion before he left the game the first time? If so, he should have been pulled from the game immediately, and his return to the game violated league policies. The league and the players’ union are looking into the matter.
“A joint review by the NFL and NFLPA of the application of the Concussion Protocol regarding New England safety Patrick Chung during the Patriots-Jaguars game is underway,” the league said in a statement.
Asked why the medical personnel didn’t check Chung for a concussion the first time he left the game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said that’s not his department.
“Look, I don’t know whether they did or didn’t,” Belichick said. “I’m trying to coach the game. I don’t have time for a conversation with those guys. If the player is cleared, he’s cleared. If he’s not cleared then he’s not cleared.”
This is the second time Chung has appeared to keep playing after suffering a concussion. Seven months ago, when the Patriots were in the Super Bowl, Chung was on the field for a few plays after suffering a concussion. That it can happen repeatedly shows that the league still has some work to do on figuring out how to get players out of the game immediately when they’ve suffered a concussion.