Home News Why did Steelers’ Kenny Pickett go through concussion protocol quicker than Dolphins’ Bridgewater? – The Mercury News

Why did Steelers’ Kenny Pickett go through concussion protocol quicker than Dolphins’ Bridgewater? – The Mercury News


After weeks of the NFL’s concussion protocol taking Dolphins quarterbacks out of video games, limiting what they will do in follow and even going by revisions due to Tua Tagovailoa’s two hits to the top in 5 days, it’s a good query to ask: Why did Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett speed up by concussion protocol faster than Teddy Bridgewater?

The Steelers go to the Dolphins in a prime-time matchup on Sunday evening, igniting the comparability, as Pickett is predicted to start out.

Clearly, Tagovailoa’s journey by protocol was a lot totally different, in order that wouldn’t be a good comparability to make. He suffered a critical concussion on Sept. 29 in opposition to the Bengals. It left him unconscious, as he recalled, and had him taken away on a stretcher, strapped to a backboard.

However Bridgewater entered protocol on Oct. 9 on the New York Jets solely as a result of a spotter at MetLife Stadium deemed he stumbled, an indication of ataxia, after taking a success from Sauce Gardner on the opening play, though no video confirms mentioned stumble. Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel mentioned after that recreation Bridgewater didn’t present any concussion signs. Due to the league and Gamers Affiliation’s replace to concussion protocol a day earlier, Bridgewater needed to be taken out of the sport and be handled in protocol the next week as if he had a concussion.

That course of noticed Bridgewater restricted to conditioning work on the facet of follow the Wednesday that adopted, listed formally as a non-participant on the damage report. He then went by drills on a restricted foundation on Thursday earlier than growing his workload to full participation that Friday.

Pickett, who cleared concussion protocol Friday, took a success from Buccaneers linebacker Devin White on Sunday that induced his head to hit the bottom from whiplash within the third quarter of the Steelers’ win. By Wednesday’s follow, the primary of the week, he was already allowed to take part absolutely. It was anticipated after Steelers coach Mike Tomlin mentioned Tuesday that may be the case, and Pickett once more practiced in full on Thursday earlier than Friday’s clearance.

Why the disparity?

“Every participant and every concussion is exclusive, and there’s no set time frame for return to participation,” a league spokesperson instructed the South Florida Solar Sentinel in an electronic mail. “Crew medical employees think about the participant’s present concussive damage, in addition to previous exposures and medical historical past, household historical past and future threat in managing a participant’s care.”

Given the components the league considers, one can surmise Bridgewater’s concussion historical past performed a job in his longer timeline. Bridgewater’s Dec. 19 concussion final yr with the Broncos stored him out for the ultimate three video games of the season. He additionally sustained one earlier that season, which he returned from for the next week’s recreation. Bridgewater had one different concussion in his profession, in 2015 with the Vikings, additionally getting cleared to return the next week.

The league doesn’t touch upon particular gamers’ accidents and neither crew will element specifics of their quarterback’s restoration.

Bridgewater’s limitations in follow early final week had been famous by McDaniel as the rationale why he didn’t begin over third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson in final Sunday’s loss to the Vikings. Bridgewater, whereas Tagovailoa was held out, nonetheless relieved Thompson when the rookie left with a thumb damage.

No matter components in play, Pickett’s speedy return remains to be alarming. In line with Dr. David Chao, by way of Pittsburgh sports activities discuss radio station 93.7 The Fan, of 39 concussions within the NFL this yr, Pickett is the primary participant to return to full follow three days later. Some speculate the rookie didn’t really maintain a concussion in opposition to the Buccaneers, however the Steelers introduced he did Sunday.

“That’s not for me to debate what has occurred on anyone else’s crew,” McDaniel mentioned Friday. “Philosophically, I’d by no means enterprise to attempt to be an professional on that.

“For those who’ve seen our damage report, there’s sufficient for us to fret about. I’ll let the Steelers fear in regards to the Steelers.”

NFL gamers clearing concussion protocol undergo a five-step course of to return to motion. Clearance for full participation in follow, the fifth and remaining section, is topic to the identical approval by an unaffiliated physician that has been closely famous in all concussion protocol conversations in current weeks.

“If, as a part of a participant’s progress by the five-step course of, he’s cleared for full participation by his membership doctor, he then have to be seen by an Unbiased Neurological Marketing consultant (INC), collectively permitted by the NFL and NFLPA,” the league spokesperson wrote to the Sentinel. “If the INC confirms the membership doctor’s conclusion that the participant’s concussion has resolved, he might return to contact follow or play in an NFL recreation.”

Bridgewater, final Sunday, refused to reply whether or not he skilled concussion signs on or following Oct. 9 in opposition to the Jets, however McDaniel, talking at MetLife Stadium that day, mentioned he didn’t. He nonetheless went by protocol due to the revision made the day earlier than the sport.

The five-phase protocol goes as follows with the participant step by step growing his exercise: symptom-limited exercise, cardio train, football-specific train, club-based non-contact coaching drills, full soccer exercise/clearance. Golf equipment typically don’t element the precise step a participant is in. Presumably, being listed on the damage report as a full follow participant means the participant reached Section 5, however a possible inconsistency with quarterbacks versus different positions is that they aren’t contacted in follow anyway, carrying purple jerseys to remind teammates to not hit them.

Bridgewater cleared protocol from his distinctive scenario on Oct. 15, six days from coming into it. Tagovailoa was cleared the identical day, so it took him 16 days from the Sept. 29 concussion that despatched him to the hospital. Once more, totally different gamers get well otherwise. Dolphins tight finish Cethan Carter suffered a concussion within the Sept. 11 opener on a kickoff collision. He didn’t return to follow in any capability in 4 weeks that adopted and, finally, was positioned on injured reserve on Oct. 8, placing him out a minimum of one other 4 weeks from that time.

The protocol change by the league and union was sparked by Tagovailoa’s damage scare on Sept. 25 in opposition to the Buffalo Payments, days earlier than the ugly scene in Cincinnati. That Sunday, he took an identical however lighter hit to the top in opposition to the bottom. Tagovailoa grabbed at his helmet, shook off the cobwebs and stumbled upon getting as much as stroll it off simply forward of the primary half’s two-minute warning.

Whereas he cleared concussion protocol at halftime to return for the second half — and accurately, underneath the letter of the regulation, in response to the Gamers Affiliation investigation — the union’s ruling was that his clearance didn’t match the intent of the rules.

If an identical stumble was exhibited now, Tagovailoa, like Bridgewater was in opposition to the Jets, would routinely be dominated out of a recreation and enter protocol.



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