NFL concussion rules will inevitably lead to roster change

NFL, Teddy Bridgewater, Miami Dolphins - Rutherford, New Jersey.Syndication The Record
NFL, Teddy Bridgewater, Miami Dolphins - Rutherford, New Jersey.Syndication The Record /

The NFL and the NFLPA decided that it was more important to implement new concussion protocols without any real discussion before Sunday’s games. This will inevitably lead to changes in how NFL rosters are designed.

On Sunday, the NFLPA got back at the Miami Dolphins for the entire Tua Tagovailoa fiasco in week three. On the first play of the game from scrimmage, Teddy Bridgewater was hit in the endzone, hurt his arm, cleared concussion protocols, and never returned to the field.

Why? Because a UNC, unaffiliated neurology consult, says he staggered. There was no video evidence of him staggering getting up off the turf unless you conclude the ‘wobble’ came from him getting off the ground on his arm.

NFL has a massive problem moving forward, but is there an easy solution?

This is a big problem facing the NFL going forward. The Dolphins had one other QB on the roster with Tua Tagovailoa ruled out earlier in the week. Most NFL teams only carry two QBs active on Sundays. That has to change.

If the league wants to keep the QB safe, they need to be more consistent with their roughing calls. We saw on Sunday a horrible roughing the passer call on Tom Brady who was barely touched when he was sacked. He wasn’t slammed to the ground like Tua was a week ago Thursday. Nor was the defender putting his body weight on him. Yet, the flag came out and the Falcons would lose.

What the NFL needs to do moving forward is allow teams to have one or even two inactive QBs who remain in the locker room but can come into a game if both the starter and backup QBs go down to concussions under the new system.

Taking a player out of a game for a concussion when the protocols are completely passed, is ridiculous and will inevitably lead to huge problems. Imagine what happens when a QB is deemed to be unstable despite no visual evidence during a Super Bowl. It will happen, eventually.

This doesn’t just go for QBs alone. We need to see every player on the 53 active on Sundays unless they are out for injury. They should be able to be replaced by PS players. If the league is going to make it more difficult for players to get back into a game if they believe there is a head injury, then they need to allow teams to have adequate players on the field to substitute.