NFL concussion protocol

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Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100
NFL concussion protocol

Two players violated league concussion protocol in last weekend's wild-card games, according to a letter sent by the NFL's head, neck and spine committee chairmen to all team doctors and trainers.

In a document obtained by The Associated Press, Dr. Hunt Batjer and Dr. Richard Ellenbogen say that one player actually re-entered the game and another refused to leave the sideline. The doctors did not identify the players, but one was Green Bay tackle David Bakhtiari, who went into the game for an extra-point try despite being examined for a concussion and not cleared.

The other player was Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis, who remained on the sideline but did not get back on the field.

"On two occasions last weekend, and contrary to the advice of the team medical staffs, players who had been diagnosed with a concussion and therefore declared ineligible for play nonetheless refused to leave the sidelines as required by league concussion protocols," the letter said. "In one case, the player went back onto the field for one play before being removed from the game.

"We emphasize that we find no fault in how the team medical staffs conducted themselves last weekend. If a player refuses to follow your advice and leave the sidelines after being diagnosed with a concussion, we recommend that the head athletic trainer seek assistance from the player's position coach (or another member of the coaching staff) or from another team official to remove the player from the sidelines as soon as possible."

The NFL's Madden Rule requires a player diagnosed with a concussion to be taken to the locker room or another quiet location.

No fines will be imposed for the violations.

Bakhtiari's season is over because Green Bay lost to San Francisco. But Lewis' Saints are playing Saturday at Seattle and he has been practicing.

Batjer and Ellenbogen noted in the letter how players may resist being kept out of the game, particularly during postseason play.

"But (the rule) is an important element of the league's protocol and intended to safeguard the player's well-being and enhance his ability to recover from his injury," they wrote.

NFL says two players violated concussion protocol - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN

Dozens of former NFL are suing the league over long-term brain damage from multiple concussions suffered on the field. The NFL instituted a concussion protocol which says that if a player is diagnosed with a concussion, he is ineligible to continue playing -- and is to be removed from the sidelines.

In the wild card playoffs last weekend, one player refused to leave the sidelines, and one player actually went back on the field for a play before finally leaving the sidelines. What should happen to them? Why have a protocol if players and coaches refuse to follow it? Should new NFL contracts require a penalty, or include a waiver of the right to sue for damages if a player doesn't follow the concussion protocol?

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

Is there a difference between protocol and the rules/bylaws? If it's just a "suggestion" then nothing should happen to them, nor would they give up their right to sue.

It should be a rule with penalties to the players and coaches. Then again, don't players get to determine if the play with broken bones AMA?

Brain injuries are not something you want to mess with. The long term effects are bad.