NFL, players union to release revised concussion policy on Thursday: Report
The changes are expected to be announced before the Thursday game
The new policy will change how 'gross motor instability' is defined
The changes come after injuries sustained by Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa
The National Football League and the NFL Player's Association are planning to release a set changes to the existing concussion policy as early as before Thursday's games, according to a CNN report, citing a source familiar with the matter.
The source told CNN that the new protocols are an urgent matter and that the new protocols would be ready before the game, adding, "that way we can have the new protocols in place before they play tomorrow night."
Existing protocol states that a player cannot be allowed to return to the field if they have any "gross motor instability" which has been determined to have been neurologically caused.
The change in concussion policy will tinker with how "gross motor instability" is determined. Now, any such instability will be cause for removal from the ongoing game. "It’s ‘if you see a player fall down and not be able to get up as a result of any injury, they can’t return.’ That’s really the simplest way to describe it," the source told CNN.
Changes to the policies come after quarterback Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins sustained injuries during a game against the Buffalo Bills on September 25. At the time, Tagovailoa was checked for concussions but returned to the field after an evaluation.
A few days later, he was sacked by Josh Tupou of the Cincinnati Bengals. This time however, the Dolphins quarterback wasn't getting up, lying motionless on the ground. Tagovailoa was carried off on a stretcher to a hospital. He was diagnosed with a concussion.
"The NFLPA’s Mackey-White Health & Safety Committee and the NFL’s Head Neck and Spine Committee have already begun conversations around the use of the term ‘Gross Motor Instability’ and we anticipate changes to the protocol being made in the coming days," the NFL and the NFLPA said on Saturday, October 1.