NFL, NFLPA agree that changes to the concussion protocol are needed

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The NFL and the NFL Players Association often disagree. On an important issue of player safety, they are in lockstep.

The league and the union have released a statement regarding changes to the concussion protocol, in the aftermath of the Tua Tagovailoa situation.

“The joint NFL-NFLPA investigation into the application of the Concussion Protocol involving Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains ongoing,” the statement explains. “Therefore, we have not made any conclusions about medical errors or protocol violations.”

Despite the fact that the investigation remains pending, the two sides already realize that revisions to the protocol are needed.

“The NFL and the NFLPA agree that modifications to the Concussion Protocol are needed to enhance player safety,” the statement continues. “The NFLPA’s Mackey-White Health & Safety Committee and the NFL’s Head Neck and Spine Committee have already begun conversations around the use of the term ‘Gross Motor Instability’ and we anticipate changes to the protocol being made in the coming days based on what has been learned thus far in the review process.”

The change that needs to be made is simple, and it should be immediate. The “Gross Motor Instability” loophole should be closed. If a player demonstrates “Gross Motor Instability,” he should be ruled a “no go” for the remainder of the game.

“The NFL and NFLPA share a strong appreciation for the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants who contribute their time and expertise to our game solely to advance player safety,” the statement concludes. “This program has made our game safer for the athletes who play if for the past twelve seasons.”

Indeed they have. But it has been more evolution than revolution. Specific incidents have sparked change by exposing weaknesses. The Tua situation did precisely that. The best news, beyond Tua being fine, is that changes will be made ideally to prevent a recurrence of a player being noticeably wobbly after hitting his head on the ground and being allowed to return to the game.

13 responses to “NFL, NFLPA agree that changes to the concussion protocol are needed

  1. Tua might be “fine” today. But, to put him back out there again in the next game or the one after or the one after that, is both irresponsible and potentially deadly. This isn’t merely a concussion. It’s way more serious when there is rigidity in the limbs.
    I’m sure it won’t happen, but he should be shut down for the year. It’s not a “drastic” move. It’s a prudent one.

  2. Unfortunately this will turn into the Olympics (too much power in judgment calls). They should video tape each assessment performed by the UNC and submitted to the league to show the protocol which took place.

  3. This will be Goodell’s attempt to make it seem like there was a mistake or the protocol wasn’t written right when we all saw Tua unable to walk.

    Whinebaugh is an embarrassment the way he runs his mouth daily as a head coach, but he is correct here.

    I am in my mid 40s and have never seen what happened to Tua happen to any player in football at any level.

    Goodell’s lawyers will try to lawyer themselves out of this one which is why Congress is even getting involved. That’s how pathetically obvious the lie is by Miami that it was his “back”.

    The over-sell of the back all week was the tell.

    Goodell is complicit and caught stone cold yet again. We’ve heard of no Zoom call with him and McDaniel, Tua or the doctor. We have only heard a script from the CMO, creepy Sills.

  4. This is good news and will do a magnificent job of correcting for the one time every 5 years where the current protocol tends to break down. Hopefully there will be no unintended consequences.

  5. No one has blamed Connor Williams for missing his block and exposing his quarterback to a vicious tackle. Never once have I heard his name mentioned in this debacle.

  6. I’m not sure about Tua’s motor stability, but I can assure you that fencing posture was gross. I love football, but nothing was worth seen a young man go through that

  7. Donald Parham. Budda Baker. Josh Cribbs. That’s just a few nasty concussions I have seen in the NFL. It’s a violent sport. Disregarding the virtue signaling, I think what bothers most garden variety NFL fans is that he was put back in the game Sunday and then played Thursday. That was strange. No concern for this guys welfare. I am a Dr. This guy could have died.

  8. Was part of the independent doctor’s evaluation to watch the film of the hit and subsequent reaction?

  9. I guarantee you the Dolphins wanted Tua back in the game, and it now works out conveniently for them AND the NFL, to have the independent evaluator fired.

    Blame that guy, plead ignorance, vow to make changes. It allows the team and the NFL to deflect any blame or wrong doing.

    They are lucky to have had a scapegoat.

  10. Thank you, Like I said let the process playout before rushing to judgement, It frankly appears it’s the result of bad medical evaluators, Not some nefarious disregard for player safety on behalf of the HC or Organization. How is a coach going to overrule medical advice from doctors? If a team doctor and NFL’s nuerologist both said Lamar Jackson didn’t have a concussion for example I have no doubt Harbaugh would do the exact same thing.

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