NFLPA president has surprising answers to concussion protocol questions surrounding Dolphins – The Denver Post


With constant questions surrounding the NFL’s revised concussion protocol and its impact, NFL Players Association president J.C. Tretter shared an essay Wednesday on the union’s website to answer some of them.

Surprisingly, Tretter said Miami Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s removal from the Oct. 9 game at the New York Jets was not a result of the league and union’s agreed-upon revision announced the day before.

“In short, no,” Tretter wrote. “Nothing that happened in Teddy’s case would have been treated differently than before the protocol change. The ATC spotter saw unsteadiness when he stood up and there was a brief pause in the game, which allowed both spotters and the booth UNC to rewatch the video of the previous play. All three agreed to call down to the club medical staff and he was removed from the game for having a no-go symptom.”

This contrasts from how coach Mike McDaniel described Bridgewater’s disqualification after one offensive play in that loss at MetLife Stadium — and as it was widely understood.

Tretter also touched on what transpired in the Dolphins’ Sept. 25 win over the Buffalo Bills, the Tua Tagovailoa stumble that sparked an investigation and debate leading up to the rule change.

Tretter explained that Tagovailoa displayed an automatic no-go symptom of gross motor instability, which should have removed him from the game, even though Tagovailoa cleared concussion tests at halftime. While attributing the instability to a back injury he sustained in that game, Tretter emphasized that doctors performing the evaluation never examined his back.

Regarding whether protocol at the time was followed, Tretter said: “If we are using the concussion protocols as a checklist and path to return players back into the game, then yes, each step was followed. But that approach takes us all the way back to the problems we faced before 2011, and the culture we had of return to work at all costs. This is the culture and practice we have worked so hard to change for so long. Our union does not care about checklists; our concern is for player care.”

What is the change that came about over the two weeks between Tagovailoa’s initial clearance against Buffalo and the rule change on Sept. 8?

Tretter explained that the gross motor instability symptom was changed to ataxia.

“Ataxia is defined as abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue,” Tretter wrote. “The term is well-documented in medical literature, understood in the medical profession and should eliminate any ambiguity. It also removes the orthopedic loophole that inherently prioritizes returning a player to the field over conservative care.”

Thursday updates

Left tackle Terron Armstead returned to practice on Thursday after he missed Wednesday’s session with his persistent toe injury. Last week, Armstead also practiced Thursday before a solid effort in Sunday’s win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

All Dolphins on the active roster were present during the media viewing portion of Thursday drills, which also involved a return of safety Clayton Fejedelem from a groin injury and outside linebacker Melvin Ingram from veteran rest. Fejedelem and tight end Durham Smythe (hamstring) were seen working out on the side.

Right tackle Austin Jackson, who is still on injured reserve for his ankle injury, was not at practice again. Since he was designated to return by participating in practices two weeks ago, his 21-day clock to be activated off IR comes up next week.

This story will be updated.



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