The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement Wednesday afternoon to provide further explanation for a couple of instances where a player underwent in-game concussion protocol and eventually went back into the game.
The statement examines Cam Newton’s possible concussion after taking a hit to the head during Carolina’s loss in the 2016 season opener and also clarifies Tyrod Taylor’s evaluation during Buffalo’s Week 2 loss to the New York Jets.
Many believed Newton should have been further evaluated after taking several gigantic hits during the game. The statement explains medical personnel were unable to see the point of contact after Newton took a hit to the helmet in the fourth quarter of the game. They reviewed the play using video replay. The time it took for the staff to actually view the hit was delayed by a technological glitch, which explains why immediate action wasn’t taken.
After reviewing the play, the medical staff deemed there was no need to further evaluate Newton, which is why he stayed in the game.
In Taylor’s case, referee Ed Hoculi noticed Taylor was unstable after taking a hit and urged medical personnel to evaluate him. Buffalo’s medical staff, along with the unaffiliated neuro-trauma consultant reviewed the play and cleared Taylor to return to the game following an examination.
The league has also implemented four new enhancements to the concussion protocol. Most importantly, the league has demanded that the spotter located in the booth remain in contact with the medical personnel and neuro-trauma consultant until the staff confirms an evaluation has been executed.