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NFL-NFLPA: Concussion protocol was not violated with Patrick Chung in Jacksonville

Ryan Hannable
September 27, 2018 - 6:04 pm

FOXBORO -- Patrick Chung left Week 2's game against the Jaguars with a concussion at halftime, but after seeing video from earlier in the game, it appeared like it occurred early in the second quarter.

This prompted the NFL and NFLPA to look into the matter and if the concussion protocol was followed since Chung was not immediately removed from the game.

After an investigation, the NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement Thursday, which said the protocol was not violated.

Chung has been back at practice, although limited, this week. It would appear he will play Sunday against Miami.

Here's the statement from the NFL and NFLPA.

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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