Dolphins’ Teddy Bridgewater out, in protocol after hard hit

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is on concussion record and was ruled out of Miami’s 40-17 loss to the New York Jets after leaving the game in the first quarter.

Bridgewater was included in the protocol after the ATC spotter at the booth ruled him a “no-go” after scoring a hit on Dolphin’s opening offense in accordance with the NFL’s amended concussion protocol. According to a source, Bridgewater passed his concussion assessment, but the standing ATC spotter thought he saw Bridgewater stumble, triggering the new ataxia addition to the “no-go” symptoms in the log.

The Dolphins said Bridgewater also had an elbow injury.

Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead was also ruled out for the remainder of the game after sustaining a toe injury that left him questionable for Sunday’s competition.

Bridgewater was hit while trying to play a pass in the Dolphins’ first offensive game when Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner came at him unblocked. The pass fell incomplete but was ruled an intentional grounding in the end zone, resulting in a safety. Bridgewater was rushed to the medical tent before being escorted to the dressing room by an independent neurotrauma counselor for a concussion assessment.

He was locked out in the dressing room after about 40 minutes. Seventh-round rookie pick Skylar Thompson was the only remaining quarterback on the Dolphins’ active roster and was 19 of 33 passes for 166 yards and two turnovers — an interception and a lost fumble.

Bridgewater first started the season in place of Tua Tagovailoa, who is on concussion logs after suffering a concussion during Miami’s Week 4 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Dolphins have not publicly set a timetable for Tagovailoa’s return, but he did not travel to New York with the team and was not placed on injured reserve.

Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. is the Dolphins’ emergency quarterback.

The NFL recently changed its concussion protocol after a nearly two-week joint investigation with the NFL Players Association into the use of the protocol after an incident involving Tagovailoa. During the Dolphins’ game against the Buffalo Bills on September 25, Tagovailoa hit his head on the ground and tripped trying to get back into the group. The stumbling has been viewed as reflecting gross motor instability, which is one of the protocol’s “no-go” symptoms, requiring a player to be removed from a game with no possibility of return.

Tagovailoa was immediately taken to the locker room for a concussion evaluation, but he informed both the team doctor and the independent neurotrauma consultant hired jointly by the NFL and NFLPA that he was stumbling due to a back and ankle injury. The joint inquest revealed that Tagovailoa had previously reported both injuries before hitting his head on the ground.

After determining that his observed instability was not neurological in origin, Tagovailoa passed his evaluation and was allowed to return to the game. However, neither the team doctor nor the neurotrauma consultant examined his back during the assessment, “but relied on the earlier examinations of other medical staff”. The NFLPA exercised its right to terminate the neurotrauma counselor who conducted Tagovailoa’s initial assessment after the union found that he had made “several mistakes” during the process, aside from following the protocol’s step-by-step process , multiple sources told ESPN.

Both parties agreed on Saturday to change the protocol and add ataxia to the list of “no-go” symptoms. The changes were implemented immediately prior to the start of Sunday’s games.

“‘Ataxia’ is defined as an abnormality in balance/stability, motor coordination or speech disorder caused by a neurological problem,” the NFL and NFLPA said in a joint statement. “In other words, if a player is diagnosed with ‘ataxia’ by a club or neutral doctor involved in the application of the concussion protocol, he will be banned from returning to the game and given the follow-up care protocol required by the concussion.” Dolphins’ Teddy Bridgewater out, in protocol after hard hit

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