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NFL: 2 Players Violated Concussion Protocol

Updated: Friday, January 10 2014, 02:53 PM CST

Two players violated league concussion protocol during last weekend's wild-card games, according to a letter sent by the NFL's head, neck and spine committee chairmen to all team doctors and trainers.

In a document obtained by The Associated Press, Drs. Hunt Batjer and Richard Ellenbogen said one player re-entered the game and another refused to leave the sideline.

The doctors did not identify the players, but one was Green Bay tackle David Bakhtiari, who went into the game for an extra-point try despite being examined for a concussion and not cleared. The other player was Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis, who remained on the sideline but did not get back on the field.

"On two occasions last weekend, and contrary to the advice of the team medical staffs, players who had been diagnosed with a concussion and therefore declared ineligible for play nonetheless refused to leave the sidelines as required by league concussion protocols," the letter said. "In one case, the player went back onto the field for one play before being removed from the game."

The doctors found "no fault" in how the team medical staffs conducted themselves.

"If a player refuses to follow your advice and leave the sidelines after being diagnosed with a concussion, we recommend that the head athletic trainer seek assistance from the player's position coach (or another member of the coaching staff) or from another team official to remove the player from the sidelines as soon as possible," the letter said.

The NFL's Madden Rule requires a player diagnosed with a concussion to be taken to the locker room or another quiet location.

"We will continue working with the league to ensure that team doctors, coaches, trainers and other members of a team's medical staff enforce return-to-participation protocols," the NFL Players Association said in an email. "Players naturally want to play and ultimately, the game-day medical and coaching staffs have the responsibility and obligation for player protection and care."

The Saints and Packers declined comment.

No fines will be imposed for the violations.

Bakhtiari's season is over because Green Bay lost to San Francisco. But Lewis' Saints are playing Saturday at Seattle and he has been practicing.

Batjer and Ellenbogen noted in the letter how players may resist being kept out of the game, particularly during the postseason.

"But (the rule) is an important element of the league's protocol and intended to safeguard the player's well-being and enhance his ability to recover from his injury," they wrote.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

NFL: 2 Players Violated Concussion Protocol


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Scores & Schedules

October 31, 2014 07:08 GMT

NFL

Thursday's Game

New Orleans 28, Carolina 10

Sunday's Games

Arizona at Dallas, 1 p.m.

Philadelphia at Houston, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Jets at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Washington at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

Jacksonville at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

San Diego at Miami, 1 p.m.

St. Louis at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.

Oakland at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.

Denver at New England, 4:25 p.m.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.

Open: Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Tennessee

Monday's Game

Indianapolis at N.Y. Giants, 8:30 p.m.

NBA

Thursday's Games

Washington 105, Orlando 98

Minnesota 97, Detroit 91

New York 95, Cleveland 90

Dallas 120, Utah 102

L.A. Clippers 93, Oklahoma City 90

Friday's Games

Memphis at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Cleveland at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m.

San Antonio at Phoenix, 10 p.m.

Portland at Sacramento, 10 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Thursday's Games

New Jersey 2, Winnipeg 1, SO

Chicago 5, Ottawa 4, SO

Minnesota 4, San Jose 3, SO

Boston 3, Buffalo 2, OT

Pittsburgh 3, Los Angeles 0

Tampa Bay 4, Philadelphia 3

Florida 2, Arizona 1

St. Louis 2, Anaheim 0

Colorado 5, N.Y. Islanders 0

Vancouver 3, Montreal 2, OT

Friday's Games

Toronto at Columbus, 7 p.m.

Los Angeles at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Anaheim at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Nashville at Calgary, 9 p.m.

MLS PLAYOFFS

KNOCKOUT ROUND Eastern Conference

Thursday, Oct. 30: New York 2, Sporting Kansas City 1

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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