A review into New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker’s head injury found no violations of the National Football League’s concussion protocol, the NFL and NFL Players Association announced Friday in a joint statement.
In the first quarter of the Patriots’ game against the Arizona Cardinals on December 12, Parker received a blow to the head and appeared shaky on his feet.
The game may have continued if not for Patriots teammate Nelson Agholor, who noticed Parker appeared wobbly and signaled for the officials to halt the game just before the next snap.
Both parties said in the joint statement that a medical spotter was in the process of stopping play when the Cardinals threw the challenge flag.
The parties also commended Agholor and others for signaling game officials to stop play so Parker could be evaluated.
“The ability of various individuals to trigger a concussion evaluation is a critical component of the Concussion Protocol,” the league and players union added in the statement.
Parker did not play in last Sunday’s game at the Las Vegas Raiders and has been ruled out for the team’s game scheduled for Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals due to his injury.
The NFL’s concussion protocol is triggered if a player receives a blow to the head and exhibits or reports symptoms or signs suggestive of a concussion or stinger – a nerve pinch injury – or the team athletic trainer, booth ATC spotter, team physician, game official, coach, teammate, sideline Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant or booth UNC initiates the protocol. The player is removed to sideline or stabilized on the field and required to undergo testing.
One of the biggest concerns about repeated blows to the head and concussions is their association with a deadly brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
The NFL has been under renewed scrutiny over the issue in recent months, beginning on September 25 when Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovalia was injured during play but was allowed to return to the field.