The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement on Wednesday in which they indicated that they have determined the Miami Dolphins did not properly follow concussion protocol with quarterback Matt Moore following him being hit by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree in the AFC Wild Card game.
In case you forgot, Moore was hit in the head and neck area along the sideline by Dupree after throwing the football in the first half of the AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field. After staying down on the field injured for several minutes, Moore got up and went to the Dolphins sideline to be checked out further. After missing just one play, Moore then returned to the game and ultimately finished it.
Two weeks ago, the NFL and NFLPA initiated a review of the Dolphins concussion protocol.
“Under the procedure approved by the collective bargaining agreement, the NFL, in consultation with the NFLPA, will review the video, relevant documents and interview the involved parties to determine whether the protocol was properly followed,” their joint statement read.
Below is the joint statement the two sides issued on Wednesday that includes the findings from their review.
The NFL and NFLPA have reviewed the application of the Concussion Protocol by the Dolphins’ medical staff in the January 8th Steelers-Dolphins game.
The Miami Dolphins were notified in a letter co-signed by Dr. Hunt Batjer, Co-Chair of the NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee and Dr. Thom Mayer, Medical Director for the NFLPA, that the NFL-NFLPA review determined that the Protocol was not strictly followed. The letter further advised the Dolphins that they must engage their staff in a full review of the Protocol and conduct additional education, if necessary. The Dolphins were also advised that any future deviation from the Protocol may result in enhanced discipline, including monetary fines assessed against the Club.
In the second quarter, Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore incurred a hit to the chin and mouth area which drew a roughing the passer penalty. Mr. Moore was attended to by medical staff on the field and on the sideline. The team doctor took appropriate steps to promptly and fully involve the Unaffiliated Neuro-trauma Consultant (UNC) in the medical evaluation of the player and review of the video. They jointly cleared Mr. Moore to return to the game, but did not recognize that Mr. Moore presented a documented symptom, bleeding from the mouth, that required further evaluation in the locker room under the protocol. There is no indication that competitive issues had an impact on the care that Mr. Moore received, nor did Mr. Moore demonstrate any concussion symptoms either during or at any time following the game.
It is important for us to ensure everyone understands and follows the Protocol and that we continue to reinforce its importance. The co-chairmen of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee sent a memo to the medical staffs of the clubs participating in the playoffs reminding them of that point.
The objective of the Concussion Protocol is to ensure a standardized process composed of best practices is used to identify and manage potential concussions. Concussion diagnosis and management is often a difficult and complex exercise, compounded by hectic game conditions. Accurate diagnosis and management of concussion requires a collaborative approach among experienced physicians on the sideline, each acutely aware of his or her responsibilities and all committed to the strict application of the protocol designed to protect players.
It appears as though that Moore bleeding from the mouth after being hit by Dupree required him to be further evaluated for a concussion in the dolphins locker room and that obviously didn’t happen.
After returning to the game, Moore fumbled twice while being sacked and threw an interception.
As for Dupree, who was flagged for his hit on Moore, he would later be fined by the NFL as well.