According to a source familiar with discussions between the NFL and the NFL Players Association over changes to the league’s concussion policy, updates to the concussion protocol could come as early as Thursday.
“The urgency to do this before tomorrow is that we will have new protocols before Thursday night’s game, and that way we can have the new protocols in place before they play tomorrow night,” the source told CNN Wednesday.
Current protocols prevent a player from returning to the field if they exhibit “gross motor instability” determined to be neurological in origin.
According to the source, the new goal is for any gross motor instability to be cause for removal from the field.
“It’s ‘if you see a player fall down and can’t get up from injury, they can’t come back’. That’s really the easiest way to describe it,” the source said. .
The source noted that lawyers for the league and the players’ association are in discussions, including on the definition of gross motor instability.
Policy changes were triggered after Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was eliminated from a game against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 25. The 24-year-old got up awkwardly; he was taken to the locker room for a concussion check and cleared to return to the field.
Four days later, on September 29, Tagovailoa was fired by Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Josh Tupou and was motionless on the field for several minutes. He was eventually stretched and taken to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with a concussion.
The NFL and NFLPA said in a statement Saturday, “The NFLPA’s Mackey-White Health and Safety Committee and the NFL’s Head Neck and Spine Committee have already begun conversations about the use of the term ‘motor instability’. overall “and we anticipate changes to the protocol being developed in the coming days.”
The NFL and NFLPA are conducting an ongoing joint investigation into the Tagovailoa incidents. As part of the investigation, the source confirmed to CNN, the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant involved in the elimination of the quarterback during the Bills game was fired by the players’ union, a move reported for the first time. times by ESPN. The source added that the Dolphins team doctor is being interviewed as part of the investigation.
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