NFL, NFLPA agree to make concussion protocols changes

The NFL has formally announced they will implement revisions to their concussion protocol beginning this Sunday.

The league and NFL Players Association has placed a special emphasis on Ataxia, a medical condition dealing with any abnormal or atypical change in balance, coordination, or speech considered only a neurological event.

The changes come after Tua Tagovailoa’s incident against the Buffalo Bills on September 25th. The quarterback was cleared to return to the game after suffering an scary hit and stumbling awkwardly after attempting to get back to his feet. Four days later, Tagovailoa took a blow to the head against the Cincinnati Bengals, which forced him to be carted off the field and taken to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a concussion and will be out for this week’s game against the Jets. There is no current timetable for Tua’s return.

Tua Tagovailoa hits the ground hard against the Bengals.

The unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who evaluated Tua during the Buffalo fiasco was fired by the Players Association earlier this week.

The NFLPA and the league agreed that the Tagovailoa incident did not fully realize the purpose of the protocols. They will be modified to enhance player safety.

Roger Goodell recently hinted at potential changes to the protocol during a fan event in London.

Roger Goodell
Getty Images

“We understand some of that chatter, but the reality is the protocols are really important,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We follow that strictly. We see no indication that that didn’t happen in this case. There’s an ongoing investigation. “We’re really focused on doing that. But we’re also prepared to make a change or two in the protocols because we think we can actually add another element that would make it even safer.”  


The specific changes are not known at this time, but they will be in effect this Sunday.