NFLPA agrees to concussion protocol changes, NFL responds

The NFL Players Association has approved changes to concussion protocol and is urging the NFL to do the same before Sunday’s games begin.

The announcement follows a review of how Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion rating was handled in Week 3.

“Our union has agreed to amend concussion protocols to protect players from this in the event of an incident similar to the one that happened on April 25. “We would like these changes to go into effect ahead of this weekend’s games to protect players immediately , and hope the NFL accepts the changes before then.”

The NFL responded later Friday, saying changes were “likely” but not committing to a timeline as to when they would be implemented.

“As we discussed with the NFLPA, we agree that changes to the joint NFL-NFLPA protocols are necessary to further improve player safety,” the NFL’s statement said. “We have already spoken to members of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee and leadership of the Independent Neurotrauma Counselors and Independent Certified Athletic Coaches who serve as observers to discuss these likely changes.”

Tagovailoa hit the back of his head and stumbled while trying to get back into the group after the Dolphins played the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 25. He was immediately taken to the locker room with a head injury as the team announced at the time.

However, he passed the assessment in the dressing room and returned after halftime to end the game, with both Tagovailoa and the Dolphins clarifying that his stumble was caused by a back injury he sustained earlier in the game.

Four days later, Tagovailoa was rushed to a local hospital after his head hit the turf in a week four game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He has been diagnosed with a concussion and will be out for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The NFLPA justified its right to request a review of the NFL’s concussion record following Tagovailoa’s quick return to the game and fired the independent neurotrauma counselor who originally evaluated the quarterback during the Bills’ game.

The NFL and NFLPA have both said they are committed to changing concussion protocol based on what both parties learned during the review.

ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques contributed to this report. NFLPA agrees to concussion protocol changes, NFL responds

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