Patriots

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.

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Report: Patriots have had discussions with Vikings about Kyle Rudolph

Report: Patriots have had discussions with Vikings about Kyle Rudolph

As OTA's begin and we draw closer to mandatory minicamp, the Patriots have reportedly had discussions with the Vikings about a trade for tight end Kyle Rudolph. 

Rudolph is entering the final year of his contract with Minnesota and is due $7.625 million. He is unwilling to take a pay cut, so the Patriots would have to create space to execute a trade. The two-time Pro Bowl tight end caught 64 passes for 634 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. 

Since Rob Gronkowski's retirement, the Patriots have signed Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and Benjamin Watson to one-year contracts. They also signed Matt LaCosse to add depth to the position before Gronkowski retired. 

However, Rudolph is proven to be a far more productive tight end than all three of the players the Patriots brought in to replace Gronkowski. If the price tag for him is as low as Girardi suggests, Bill Belichick might want to think about creating cap space for Rudolph. Restructuring Tom Brady's $27 million cap figure could be a way to make the necessary space. 

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WATCH: First look at Patriots OTA's and new linebackers coach Jerod Mayo

WATCH: First look at Patriots OTA's and new linebackers coach Jerod Mayo

Monday marked the first day of Patriots OTA's, and the team's Twitter account posted a first look at players going through some drills along with new linebackers coach Jerod Mayo getting his first taste of NFL coaching experience. 

Mayo was brought on to Bill Belichick's staff in March after the position was vacated by now Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. Mayo spent all eight seasons of his playing career as a linebacker for the Patriots, earning two Pro-Bowl selections, a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2010 and the 2008 Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

He was also a member of the Super Bowl 49-winning Patriots, who defeated the defending champion Seattle Seahawks thanks to an interception by Malcolm Butler in the closing moments of the game.

Mayo and the Patriots defense have a lot to live up to after a dominant performance against the Rams in Super Bowl 53. They will use the time in OTA's to get acclimated before mandatory minicamp starts on June 4. 

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