Review finds spotters didn’t miss DeVante Parker head injury

NEW YORK — The NFL and NFLPA have determined that spotters assigned to watch players for concussions were aware that New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker had a possible head injury on Dec. 12 and was able were to prevent him from playing.

After reviewing the Patriots-Cardinals game incident, the league and players’ union said the spotters never had to ask officials to remove Parker for a concussion rating because Arizona threw a challenge flag to stop the game.

In making the finding, the two panels said officials reviewed medical staff reports and the game video, and interviewed relevant medical staff to understand the sequence of events.

The review was initiated because it appeared that Parker might have been allowed to play in the subsequent game without a concussion rating. The parties said in a joint press release on Friday that the matchday concussion checklist was followed.

The documents and interviews revealed that one of the spotters was employed with the New England medical staff from a previous injury when Parker was injured. The other certified athletic trainer spotter watched the game as it happened, heard broadcasters’ commentary in real time, and immediately alerted his colleague of the need to review the game for a possible head injury.

During the approximately 20 seconds that elapsed before the game was stopped, both observers requested the replay, reviewed the game video to confirm that the player had suffered an impact to the head and was showing post-injury behavior, and came concluded that mandatory assessment was required.

The spotters were about to take a medical time-out when the game was halted because the Cardinals threw a challenge flag. The spotters then told the Patriots medical staff that protocol required the player to undergo a concussion, and he was removed from the field and evaluated.

The NFL and the union said they were satisfied Parker would not have attended another game even if the Cardinals had not contested the game. They also commended the players for pointing out Parker’s injury.

Parker missed last week’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders and has already been ruled out for Saturday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Information from ESPN’s Mike Reiss and The Associated Press was incorporated into this report.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35311635/review-finds-spotters-miss-devante-parker-head-injury Review finds spotters didn’t miss DeVante Parker head injury

Emma Bowman

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