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NFL and NFLPA investigating handling of Sterling Shepard’s concussion

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How as Shepard allowed back on the field?

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL and NFLPA (the Players’ Association) are investigating the handling of Sterling Shepard’s concussion last Sunday.

There was an apparent breakdown in the protocol for handling blows to the head last Sunday when Shepard collided with a Dallas Cowboys defender in the third quarter and fell dazed to the ground. Shepard was able to waive off or evade trainers and return to the field, finishing the game without missing a snap.

However, that never should have been allowed. Acknowledging competitiveness of players and coaches trying to win a game, the NFL has sought to take matters out of their hands completely in recent years. The League employs independent certified athletic trainers on the field to spot potential head injuries, as well as a neurotrauma consultant in the booth to monitor the audio and visual broadcasts to identify players who may need medical attention.

This is just the fourth concussion evaluation out of more than 1,200 to be reviewed and the first major breakdown in the protocol since 2017. This is the first review to involve a position other than quarterback — Tom Savage, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson being the other three players. The outcome, and whether there are any changes to the concussion protocol or whether there will be any repercussions for the Giants, bear watching in the coming days and weeks.