Concussion protocol not violated when Patrick Chung was injured Week 2

Concussion protocol not violated when Patrick Chung was injured Week 2

FOXBORO -- When Patrick Chung was removed from his team's Week 2 game in Jacksonville, it came as some surprise. Not simply because he rarely leaves the field when the Patriots defense is out there, but because he was announced as having a concussion. 

The reason that seemed odd was because the play during which Chung absorbed a blow to the helmet was not his last. He came off the field for one snap after being slow to get up. Then he returned for more action, and he was later beaten by tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a touchdown. He did not come back out of the locker room following halftime.

The NFL and NFLPA looked into why, if Chung had a concussion, he wasn't pulled from the game and evaluated following that earlier hit to the head. The details of that joint investigation were made public on Thursday afternoon as the NFL and NFLPA released a statement about the application of the concussion protocol that day. 

Here is the statement in full: 

The NFL and NFLPA concluded their review of the application of the Concussion Protocol involving New England Patriots' safety Patrick Chung during the Patriots-Jaguars game on September 16. The NFL and NFLPA conducted interviews with relevant Patriots personnel, the game official involved, the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant (UNC) and the booth ATC spotter, all of whom fully cooperated in the review.

The interviews established that the booth ATC spotter, booth UNC, sideline medical staff, and the game official each concluded that they did not need to initiate the Protocol. The game official observed that Mr. Chung was slow to get up and therefore removed him from play, but he did not identify a need to trigger the Protocol. Additionally, the unaffiliated medical personnel (booth UNC and booth ATC spotter) reviewed the play, did not identify a mechanism of injury and concluded the player was not exhibiting signs or symptoms suggestive of a concussion and therefore did not initiate the Protocol.

After Mr. Chung returned to the game for several plays, the Patriots' coaching staff observed behavior that warranted a sideline review and the Protocol was triggered. The UNC and team medical staff conducted a sideline evaluation, which per the Concussion Game Day Checklist required a review of the video from the earlier play. Mr. Chung was cleared by the UNC and team medical staff. Subsequently, as is standard practice, the player remained under close observation following the sideline exam. During halftime, Mr. Chung was re-evaluated by the Club's medical staff and the UNC and found to have potential concussion symptoms and therefore was ruled out for the remainder of the game. Mr. Chung had delayed development of concussions symptoms, which is not uncommon, and was removed as soon as that was recognized.

As a result of these findings, the NFL and NFLPA both concluded that the Protocol was not violated. The parties will continue to educate all stakeholders about the Protocol and emphasize conservative care.


Tom Brady making his mark on Buccaneers: 'It's been fantastic,' says Bruce Arians

Tom Brady making his mark on Buccaneers: 'It's been fantastic,' says Bruce Arians

Tom Brady has had an eventful tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite the fact he hasn't played a single game for the franchise.

Of course, when Brady comes to town, every single move he and the team make will create headlines. It's all part of employing the greatest player in NFL history.

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The six-time Super Bowl champion's decision to join the Bucs has elevated the team's expectations to heights it hasn't seen in a very long time. The man tasked with getting the most out of Tampa Bay's very talented roster is head coach Bruce Arians, who's entering his second season with the franchise.

Arians recently made an appearance on the first episode of Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon's YouTube show titled, "Uncorked". He talked about the unique dynamic between a coach and a player of Brady's caliber, and it also sounds like he's impressed with the 42-year-old quarterback's impact so far.

"We got a great locker room, but to now get a guy that's been there, done it, six times, (he's) the G.O.A.T,?" Arians said. "When he talks, they listen. It's so different than a coach. I think for us as coaches, there has to be a bond between the coach and those guys so that you give them ownership. You ask them questions. How do you want to do things? So if they think they have a big hand in it, they send a message to the rest of the guys. They send your message to the rest of the guys. With Tom, it's been fantastic."

Brady isn't the first great quarterback Arians has coached. He also worked with Peyton Manning early in the future Hall of Famer's career with the Indianapolis Colts. Arians worked with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for many years, too. Arians was impressed with the way Manning led his teams, and he expects Brady to have a similar impact on the Bucs players.

"The way (Manning) commanded the room and the team was amazing," Arians said. "What he asked those guys to do. I'm sure Tom Brady has a lot of the same things. Just the little bit I've been around him so far, it's going to be the same way."

Manning left the Colts late in his career and signed with the Denver Broncos in free agency. He spent the last four years of his career playing for the Broncos, and with him the team reached two Super Bowls and won a championship in 2015 -- his final season. The Buccaneers are hoping a similar ending to Brady's career unfolds in Tampa Bay, and there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the Bucs' chances of contending for the Lombardi Trophy in 2020.

NFL memo cancels Patriots' joint practices with Lions, per report

NFL memo cancels Patriots' joint practices with Lions, per report

An August tradition in New England has been put on hold.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell informed teams in memo Tuesday night that all 32 clubs must hold training camp at their own facilities and that any joint practices will be canceled, NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported.

The means the Patriots' joint practices with the Detroit Lions, scheduled for the first week of the preseason leading up to their Aug. 13 exhibition contest, won't happen.

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It's an expected decision as the league tries to reduce additional travel and exposure amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, it's one that perhaps affects the Patriots more than any other team: With the exception of 2018, Bill Belichick's club has held joint practices with at least one opponent each year dating to 2012.

New England practiced with Mike Vrabel's Tennessee Titans and Patricia's Lions last season and also has a history of acquiring players it sees in joint practices.

This year obviously is an extenuating circumstance, though. ESPN's Adam Schefter added Wednesday morning that teams aren't expected to meet in person until training camp, which is usually in late July.

The Patriots have been holding virtual meetings and workouts throughout the offseason in place of organized team activities and minicamp.