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NFL Issues New Concussion Protocol

NFL Issues New Concussion Protocol

A new concussion protocol went into effect over the weekend in the NFL. Both the NFL and the Players Association have joined forces to revise the policies following the league’s probe into a so-called back injury that Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered last month in a game against the Buffalo Bills, according to CNBC.

During the first half of the game, Bills linebacker Matt Milano rammed Tagovailoa, knocking him to the ground. Tagovailoa appeared confused after the hit and tripped as he was trying to stand up.

“The Protocol exists to establish a high standard of concussion care for each player,” the NFL and union’s statement said, according to the Associated Press. “Whereby every medical professional engages in a meaningful and rigorous examination of the player-patent. To that end, the parties remain committed to continuing to evaluate our Protocol to ensure it reflects the intended conservative approach to evaluating player-patients for potential head injuries.”

Both the NFL and the players association stated in a combined announcement Saturday that the Dolphins did abide by protocol after the incident. However, the results were “not what was intended when the Protocol was drafted.”

The NFL and the NFL Players Association have now decided to revise the concussion policy by adding in the term “ataxia.” Ataxia is described as “abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue.” Stumbling is thought to be a sign of ataxia since it illustrates impaired motor function.

Ataxia is simply one term now employed instead of “gross motor instability” that has been added to the list of symptoms that would prohibit a player from returning to the game. The other symptoms include amnesia, confusion and loss of consciousness.

“Basically what happened was a spotter saw him [Bridgewater] stumble, and under the new rules and changes he is ruled out and placed in the protocol,” Mike McDaniel, Dolphins head coach, said, according to CNN. “He doesn’t have any symptoms and he’s passed his evaluation but he’ll be now, under the new regulations, in the concussion protocol.”

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