The NFL and NFL Players Association concluded its investigation surrounding New England Patriots receiver DeVante Parker's concussion during the club's Week 14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, finding no violations of concussion protocol, the two parties said Friday in a statement obtained by NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero.
Parker took a hard first-quarter hit and appeared woozy getting up. As the Patriots lined up for the next snap, teammate Nelson Agholor signaled to referees that Parker should be checked for a concussion.
The game was stopped as the Cardinals challenged the play, and Parker was removed from the game.
In a joint statement, the NFL and NFLPA said they found no violations of concussion protocol, noting that a medical spotter was in the process of stopping play when the Cardinals threw the challenge flag.
"The NFL and NFLPA have reviewed the medical staff reports and game video and interviewed the relevant medical personnel to understand the sequence of events leading up to New England Patriots' DeVante Parker's removal from the December 12, 2022 game for a concussion evaluation," the joint statement read. "The parties initiated the review because it appeared Mr. Parker may have been permitted to participate in the subsequent play without a concussion evaluation. The parties have concluded that the Game Day Concussion Checklist was followed.
"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 officials 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."