The NFL and NFL Players Association are again reviewing the handling of a player’s concussion during a primetime game this season.
Both parties will inquire as to why the game was not stopped when New England Patriots receiver DeVante Parker showed concussion symptoms during a 27-13 road win against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Parker caught a pass during the first quarter before he was tackled, causing his head to hit the field. He was slow to get up and needed the help of Patriots offensive lineman Cole Strange to regain his footing.
The Patriots nearly lined up for another play as receiver Nelson Agholor outwardly motioned to the sidelines for the game to stop, while Parker stood in a staggered stance to line up.
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“Thankful my brother was aware of the situation,” Parker wrote on Instagram Tuesday, thanking Agholor, while criticizing the NFL for the incident.
The play never began because the Cardinals challenged Parker’s catch, but should have been stopped by referees, medical personnel or concussion spotters tasked with determining and reviewing a player’s health during games. Parker was taken out of the game and ruled out with a head injury after the challenge.
The NFL and NFLPA handled a high-profile concussion situation during the first month of the season when Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained a concussion during a Thursday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29.
Tagovailoa left the field on a stretcher and was treated for head and neck injuries, including a concussion, after he was dragged to the ground following a tackle.
Tagovailoa also hit the back of his head after a play four days earlier in a game against the Buffalo Bills. The investigation into the matter found team and independent doctors followed the concussion protocols properly, allowing Tagovailoa to return to the Bills game.
After the Tagovailoa investigation, the NFL and NFLPA amended the concussion protocol to prohibit players from returning to games after showing signs of ataxia – an abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue.
The NFL has also placed a stronger emphasis on calling roughing the passer penalties to protect quarterbacks this season.
Story Credit: usatoday.com