Inside The Bills

NFL & NFLPA make concussion protocol enhancements

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2016 – 1:41 pm

The NFL and NFLPA issued a joint statement on the handling of the concussion protocol involving Cam Newton in Week 1 and Bills QB Tyrod Taylor in Week 2. Here were their findings on head referee Ed Hochuli’s decision to remove Taylor from Buffalo’s game against the Jets.

The NFL and NFLPA have conducted reviews of the application of the Concussion Protocol in the September 15th Bills-Jets game. That review showed Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor sustain a big hit that included helmet-to-helmet contact.  Mr. Taylor seemed to be unsteady on his feet.  Prior to any actions by the club physician, Booth ATC Spotter and/or UNC, referee Ed Hochuli directed Mr. Taylor to the sideline for the required sideline examination. The club medical team and UNC reviewed the video and conducted the required examination, cleared Mr. Taylor and returned him to the game.

The league and the Players Association review also said that the parties involved acted appropriately in the Cam Newton case as well and that the delay in examining Newton on the sidelines was due to a technology glitch when the UNC and team doctor for the Panthers requested video replay of the hit sustained by Newton and could not review it in a timely fashion. The NFL & NFLPA statement concludes by saying they have implemented enhancements to the concussion protocol which will be the below.


  • Concussion Protocol to require the Booth ATC Spotter to remain in contact with the club medical team and provide video support until the medical team confirms that a concussion evaluation has occurred;
  • The NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee, together with the NFLPA Medical Director will conduct a conference call with all UNCs to review changes to the Concussion Protocol;
  • The NFL, in consultation with the NFLPA, will use Referee Ed Hochuli’s actions in Buffalo as an example of the appropriate application of the Concussion Protocol and proactive officiating in this realm as part of its continuing training of game officials;
  • The NFL and NFLPA are reviewing the merits of supplementing the Booth ATC program with a Booth UNC program as part of their continuing evaluation of the Protocol to ensure the best possible care of our players. 


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