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.

2016 CONCUSSION PROTOCOL ENHANCEMENTS 

  • 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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NFL & NFLPA enact new concussion protocol

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2016 – 5:01 pm

The NFL and NFLPA announced an agreement to enforce the NFL Game Day Concussion Protocol and discipline clubs that violate it. Under the new policy, the NFL and NFLPA will follow a strict and fair process to investigate incidents and determine appropriate discipline, including club fines and possible forfeiture of draft picks. 

According to the policy, the NFL and NFLPA will each designate a representative to monitor the implementation of the protocol and investigate potential violations. The investigation will not reach medical conclusions; it will only determine whether the protocol was followed. 

Following the investigation, the NFL and NFLPA will review the findings to determine if a violation occurred and, if so, to recommend the proper disciplinary response. If the parties are unable to agree, the matter will be brought to a third party arbitrator. After conducting a thorough review, the arbitrator will issue a report to the Commissioner, NFLPA Executive Director and the involved parties.

As jointly agreed to by the NFL and NFLPA, the Commissioner retains absolute discretion in determining penalties for violations of the concussion protocol. 

Potential disciplinary action includes:

A first violation will require the club employees or medical team members involved to attend remedial education; and/or result in a maximum fine of $150,000 against the club.

Second and subsequent violations of the concussion protocol will result in a minimum fine of $100,000 against the club.

In the event the parties agree that a violation involved aggravating circumstances, the club shall be subject, in the first instance, to a fine no less than $50,000. The Commissioner shall determine appropriate discipline for subsequent violations involving aggravating circumstances.

In the event that the Commissioner determines that the club’s medical team failed to follow the protocol due to competitive considerations, the Commissioner may require the club to forfeit draft pick(s) and impose additional fines exceeding those amounts set forth above.


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