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Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles explains dealing with of TE Cameron Brate's concussion – ESPN

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ dealing with of Cameron Brate‘s concussion in opposition to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday evening raised some eyebrows, however coach Todd Bowles mentioned Monday that the crew initially believed the tight finish injured a shoulder and didn’t present concussion signs till halftime, which is why he remained within the recreation.

With 1 minute, 35 seconds to go within the second quarter, Brate’s head collided with teammate Chris Godwin‘s shoulder as he was working throughout the sphere. Brate flung backward onto the bottom, drawing a collective gasp from the gang.

“He went on the sideline. He complained of shoulder discomfort, nothing about his head,” Bowles mentioned Monday. “He was checked out 3 times. You simply say, ‘Give him a minute.’ Nothing got here up. He went again in till the top of the half. At halftime, he began having signs, however they have been delayed. He began complaining about that. We examined him, he is within the protocol, and we saved him out the remainder of the sport.”

Brate lay on the sphere for just a few seconds, showing dazed, and was gradual to rise up. Offensive sort out Tristan Wirfs put an arm round him. Then as he jogged off the sphere earlier than the following play, Brate bumped into an official. It’s unclear what prompted him to run into the official — the truth that he was attempting to get off the sphere rapidly or that he was disoriented, and Brate was not out there after the sport to reply questions on it, as gamers with concussions usually are not permitted to talk to the media.

After he went to the sideline, Brate didn’t go into the medical tent to be examined and was again on the sphere for that very same collection. He suffered no apparent further blows to the top after that play, however he was dominated out with a concussion within the third quarter.

When requested why nobody examined Brate for a concussion given the violent nature of the hit, Bowles defined, “He complained about his shoulder, not his head. You’ll be able to’t see a neurologist or speak about concussions in case you solely complained concerning the shoulder. It got here up at halftime the place he began to have signs about his head. So once you say, ‘Your shoulder’s hurting, you want a second to your shoulder.’ No person’s actually checking off your head. And you then return in, you discover out at halftime that you’ve signs in your head, you then go, ‘Concussion, concussion protocol.’ That is all you are able to do, actually.”

Former Bucs head coach and Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer Tony Dungy, who was on the sideline working as an analyst for NBC Sports activities, was critical of Brate going back into the game and known as the NFL’s concussion protocol a “broken system.” He additionally expressed concern as to why play wasn’t stopped by the officers.

The league’s dealing with of concussions has come underneath excessive scrutiny prior to now week. The NFL and NFL Gamers Affiliation launched an investigation into the Miami Dolphins‘ dealing with of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who confirmed vital indicators of neurological impairment — stumbling to the bottom after taking a success from Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano — in Week 3.

Tagovailoa was cleared to reenter the sport by an impartial neurologist, and he was cleared to play simply 4 days later, when he was hit once more, by Cincinnati Bengals defensive sort out Josh Tupou on Thursday Evening Soccer, and appeared to exhibit what’s known as a “fencing response,” which includes locking the fingers and arms into an uncommon place after a blow to the top impacts the brainstem. He left the sport on a stretcher. The impartial neurologist who cleared Tagovailoa to play was fired for the NFLPA on Saturday. Tagovailoa is within the concussion protocol and has already been dominated out this week.

In Brate’s case, the Bucs relied on him talking up about his signs, and it’d make clear a layer of the concussion protocol that must be reexamined, wherein the duty shifts from gamers self-reporting to these charged with the duty of monitoring them, which, on this case, can be the coaches, coaching workers and impartial neurologists.

The NFL and NFLPA are engaged on revising the protocol, together with language that might prohibit a participant from reentering a recreation if the participant confirmed gross motor instability (a present loophole that exists is that if the participant and crew say the instability was brought on by one other harm; in Tagovailoa’s case, it was his again). Within the meantime, crew trainers and impartial neurologists have been inspired to err on the aspect of warning this week.

“It is at all times vital for gamers to talk up,” Bowles mentioned. “It is vital for us to see it as nicely. Clearly, we see a tough hit, someone upside the top, you need to check out it. Some issues you do not see because it’s anyplace round this space proper right here (factors to the collarbone space) that will have delayed response with a knee-jerk factor. So participant security’s vital for us on this league. We’re not attempting to play anyone that is harm.”

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