The NFL announced concussion protocol was properly followed when DeVante Parker suffered a head injury during a game but play was not immediately stopped.
In the first quarter of the New England Patriots‘ game against the Arizona Cardinals Dec. 12, Mac Jones took the snap and was looking for Parker down the field.
Parker caught the ball but landed face first. It appeared Parker was struggling to get up and was in a daze.
Nelson Agholor took a knee on the ground and yelled toward his sideline in an effort to halt play and get help for Parker, who was clearly struggling. Parker managed to line up for the next play, but Agholor was clearly incensed, and the play was eventually stopped.
Play was stopped because the Cardinals challenged Parker’s catch, but “the parties are satisfied” that Parker would not have taken the next snap, even if Arizona hadn’t challenged anyway.
The NFL and the NFLPA conducted a review “because it appeared Mr. Parker may have been permitted to participate in the subsequent play without concussion evaluation,” according to a joint statement from the parties.
They described the events of the protocol and tending to Parker in detail:
“The documents and interviews established that one of the spotters was engaged with the Patriots medical staff regarding a prior injury when the play occurred. The other certified athletic trainer spotter observed the play as it occurred, heard the broadcasters’ commentary in real time and immediately informed his colleague of the need to review the play for a potential head injury.
“During the approximately 20 seconds that elapsed before play was stopped, both spotters requested the replay, reviewed that game video to confirm the player received an impact to the head and exhibited post-injury behavior and concluded a mandatory evaluation was necessary. The spotters were in the process of calling a medical timeout when play was stopped due to the Cardinals throwing a challenge flag. The spotters then advised the Patriots medical staff that the player required a concussion evaluation pursuant to the protocol.
“The club’s medical staff removed the player from the field and evaluated him, together with the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant. As required under the protocol, the spotters’ booth provided injury video to the sideline medical personnel, who diagnosed the player with a concussion. The parties are satisfied that the player would not have participated in another play even if the Cardinals had not challenged the play.
“In addition, the parties commend Mr. Parker’s teammate Nelson Agholor, among others, for signaling to game official to stop play so Mr. Parker could be evaluated. The ability of various individuals to trigger a concussion evaluation is a critical component of the concussion protocol.”
PATRIOTS’ DEVANTE PARKER CALLS OUT NFL AFTER CONCUSSION CONTROVERSY: ‘GET ON Y’ALLS F—IN JOB’
Parker was critical of the NFL the day after he was injured and took his frustrations out on the league via Instagram.
“Get on yalls f—in job @nfl Thankful my brother was aware of the situation @nelsonagholor_15,” Parker wrote the next day.
After Tua Tagovailoa’s head injury controversy earlier this season, the NFL made changes to its concussion protocol, saying that any player who shows “abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue,” known as ataxia, will not be permitted to return to the field.
Parker suffered a concussion and has not played since. He won’t play this weekend either.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.