Last week, the NFL and NFLPA jointly announced that they would be Tua Tagovailoa’s recent injuries.in the wake of the controversial handling of
Findings from the joint investigation into the application of the protocol in that instance have not yet been released, but there has already been a change implemented, where any player who exhibits “gross motor instability” is now out for the remainder of that game and entered into the protocol. (We saw this Colts running back Nyheim Hines.) The changes were spurred by what the NFLPA described as “several mistakes” made by the doctor who handled Tagovailoa’s concussion evaluation during the Dolphins‘ game against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3.with
Ahead of the Green Bay Packers‘ game against the New York Giants in London, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was asked about his feelings regarding the league’s concussion protocol, and the changes that are being made to it. Rodgers acknowledged that he does not always see eye to eye with the league on a lot of issues, but also stated that he believes players have to take some responsibility for their own well-being.
“I don’t know what else the league can do,” Rodgers said, per ESPN. “We’ve got to police ourselves.”
Rodgers is probably correct that players themselves should take responsibility for their own health and be willing to acknowledge that they are not able to play after sustaining a head injury, but it’s worth noting that the league’s concussion policies and other health-related rules are in place specifically because players cannot necessarily always be counted on to properly police themselves in these situations.
Given the short length of careers, there is often incentive for players to get back onto the field as soon as possible, even if they are not healthy enough to be out there. That’s why doctors and specialists are the ones charged with making the ultimate decision. They’re supposed to look out for the players’ best interest, health-wise, rather than for the team or the player’s desire to be on the field. Taking the decision out of the player’s hands is a choice that makes sense, so long as the policies are sound enough — and properly-implemented — to ensure some level of safety.
This content was originally published here.