The NFL's handling of concussion protocol has become the target of heavy scrutiny in recent weeks.
During Sunday night's matchup between the Buccaneers and Chiefs, Tampa Bay tight end Cameron Brate collided with his teammate Chris Godwin and looked visibly shaken up after the play.
Brate was removed from the field but returned for several more plays before halftime. He was later ruled out for the remainder of the game after being placed in concussion protocol.
Both of the spotters for Sunday's game — a Certified Athletic Trainer and an Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant — ruled that Brate sustained a blow to the shoulder, not the head.
The NFL released a statement regarding this incident:
“Immediately following the game, the NFL contacted team and unaffiliated medical personnel to gather information concerning the injury sustained by Tampa Bay’s Cameron Brate,” the NFL said in a statement, per ProFootballTalk. “The league reviewed the information with the NFL Players Association. Based on the standardized gameday reports, it is clear to both parties that the spotters in the booth concluded that Brate was hit in the shoulder and therefore did not trigger the concussion protocols. As soon as medical personnel identified concussion symptoms, they removed Brate from the game.”
Video replay clearly shows Brate taking a blow to the head before looking visibly dazed as he ran off the field.
The NFL Players Association is currently in the midst of an investigation into Tua Tagovailoa's concussion protocol controversy. The Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant who cleared the Dolphins quarterback to return in Week 3 has already been fired.
Brate is questionable to play in Week 5 as he goes through concussion protocol.