Explaining the NFL’s new concussion protocol, why it stored Bridgewater out of Dolphins recreation



Miami Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) leaves the sector after taking successful from the New York Jets in the course of the first quarter of an NFL soccer recreation, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)


The Dolphins grew to become the primary case research for the NFL’s up to date concussion protocol on Sunday, because the league’s new no-go symptom stored quarterback Teddy Bridgewater out of the staff’s 40-17 loss to the New York Jets.

Bridgewater was sidelined after only one offensive play as a result of an impartial licensed athletic coach (ATC) located in an upstairs sales space stated he stumbled and confirmed indicators of ataxia — abnormality of stability/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech — a symptom that bars a participant from returning to the sport.

Cornerback Sauce Gardner slammed Bridgewater into the bottom at MetLife Stadium and Bridgewater hit his head on the turf, a play that was flagged for intentional grounding and gave New York two factors on a security after the quarterback launched the move from the tip zone.

As Bridgewater headed to the sideline, he entered the blue medical tent. The Dolphins introduced he had an elbow damage and was being evaluated for a head damage. An individual with a purple hat — which alerts they’re an unaffiliated neurotrauma guide (UNC) assigned by the league and NFL Players Association to help groups with the prognosis of head accidents — entered the tent at one level.

Bridgewater then exited the medical tent and headed to the locker room with the guide. Several minutes later, Bridgewater was dominated out for the rest of the sport because of the ATC Booth Spotter saying they noticed Bridgewater stumble. This stored him out regardless that he handed the concussion analysis and wasn’t exhibiting indicators of a concussion.

According to the league’s protocol, a participant is to be faraway from a recreation after successful to the top if he reveals or stories indicators of concussions, or if a staff’s athletic coach or physician, Booth ATC Spotter, coach, teammate, recreation official or sideline or Booth UNC spot an indication of a concussion.

A participant suspected of a head damage is then administered a sideline survey by the staff physician and guide. This consists of checking for the no-go signs — together with ataxia, they’re lack of consciousness, confusion and amnesia — reviewing video, asking the participant to recall the play through which he was hit, giving him a standardized take a look at for concussion evaluation and conducting a centered neurological examination.

If the participant clears the sideline survey and video doesn’t convey up any purple flags, he can return to the sport. But if the sideline survey reveals indicators of a concussion, is inconclusive or creates suspicion of a head damage, the participant is taken to the locker room for additional analysis, which features a full NFL Standardized Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) and neurological examination.

If the participant clears the locker room analysis, he can return to play, but when not, he can’t return to the sport and should keep within the locker room for additional medical analysis and a follow-up neurological examination.

The alteration of the protocol and addition of the ataxia time period was introduced by the league and NFLPA on Saturday and took into impact Sunday. It got here in response to a evaluation of Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion verify on Sept. 25. Tagovailoa stumbled after hitting his head on the bottom towards the Buffalo Bills, however handed the concussion analysis within the locker room and was in a position to return to the sport. He later stated a again damage prompted him to wobble.

Four days later, Tagovailoa sustained a concussion and needed to be carted off the sector on a stretcher towards the Cincinnati Bengals, sparking questions on why Tagovailoa returned to the Bills recreation and was permitted to play on “Thursday Night Football.”

The league and NFLPA stated the Dolphins’ staff physician and the neurotrauma guide adopted the league’s step-by-step protocols on Sept. 25 however “the outcome in this case was not what was intended when the Protocol was drafted.”

Ataxia changed the “gross motor instability” no-go symptom; a participant might return to a recreation if the staff doctor and guide concluded that the instability was not the results of a neurological concern. Now, any instability after successful to the top is deemed to be a neurological concern and sidelines a participant for the remainder of the sport.

Video captured by native South Florida TV cameras at MetLife didn’t present an apparent stumble from Bridgewater after he was hit, prompting questions on what prompted the Booth ATC Spotter to rule him out.

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel on Monday stated he didn’t see Bridgewater stumble however indicated the staff wouldn’t press the league for a proof of what the spotter noticed.

Because the spotter dominated Bridgewater out because of the ataxia no-go symptom, he’s within the league’s concussion protocol and should clear the league’s five-step course of to return to the sector. McDaniel stated Bridgewater is feeling superb however wouldn’t be capable to return to apply in a restricted, non-contact capability till Thursday.

McDaniel stated Tagovailoa, who stays in concussion protocol, “is not ready to take the step to do some football stuff yet” however is being reevaluated each 12 to 24 hours.

If neither Tagovailoa nor Bridgewater can play within the staff’s Week 6 house recreation towards the Minnesota Vikings, seventh-round choose Skylar Thompson would make his first NFL begin.

Daniel Oyefusi covers the Dolphins for the Miami Herald. A local of Towson, Maryland, he graduated from the University of Maryland: College Park. Previously, he lined the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.


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