Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is on NFL concussion protocol, and that’s really all we can say about his status six days before the AFC championship game.
We don’t know how long he’ll be gone. We don’t know if he can play on Sunday. We don’t even know if he had a concussion.
What we do know is that brain health was one of the main themes of the NFL divisional playoffs. On Sunday, Mahomes was knocked out of the game in the Chiefs’ victory over the Cleveland Browns after a shot left him in shock at the end of a race. A day earlier, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson had been ejected by the Buffalo Bills after hitting his head on the ground.
What does Mahomes have in store for you this week? Let’s take a closer look.
How could Mahomes be included in the concussion report if he did not have a concussion?
Firstly, we don’t know what Mahomes has been diagnosed with. And, importantly, a player does not have to be immediately diagnosed with a concussion to be included in the record. The bosses have only confirmed that he is registered. On Monday, Coach Andy Reid stood by and said Mahomes had a concussion.
Why would the NFL do this?
In 2018, the NFL updated its protocol to require that all players with gross motor instability (e.g., tripping or falling to the ground while trying to get up) in the game be evaluated to determine the cause of the instability. It’s like what happened to Mahomes on Sunday. The protocol further states that if the doctor determines that the instability is due to neurological causes, the player will receive a no-go and will not be allowed to play again.
The change was brought about by a frightening injury to Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage in December 2017. He was knocked to the ground, but was allowed to stay in the game. He was then ruled out and diagnosed with a concussion. This adjustment allowed doctors to exclude players from gambling after examining these symptoms.
Mahomes was actually sent off even though he walked into the stadium tunnel after an injury, Reed said.
What difference does it make whether Mahomes actually had a concussion?
Yes, of course. But whether he did or not, he must go through the same five steps to be allowed to return.
What are these steps?
The first thing you need to know is that every NFL player undergoes neurological and compensatory testing before the start of the season if they are in an uninjured state to ensure normal performance. These results can then be used to diagnose concussion and determine when a player’s neurological activity and balance have returned to their previous state after a brain injury. Five steps:
- Step one: Depending on the symptoms, the player can do light stretching and balance training and then switch to light aerobic training.
- Step two: The player may proceed to cardiovascular exercises and dynamic stretching, followed by neurological and balance tests. He can skip this step once the test results match his baseline scores.
- Step three: A player can switch to a limited number of specific football drills. This means that there is a maximum of 30 minutes of supervised training with the sports coach.
- Step four: Football drills can be extended to non-contact drills such as throw and run. Another set of tests should again show the basic results.
- Step Five: To do this, the team doctor must allow the player to make contact. The player must then be examined by an independent neurological consultant (INC). If the INC upholds the team doctor’s decision, the player will be allowed to train fully and participate in the next team match.
How long does it take?
The protocols deliberately do not provide for a timetable. They don’t force the player to stay out of the game, especially since science shows that brain injuries heal at an unpredictable rate. Players can be back on the field quickly without missing a game, or they can miss a few games or even the rest of the season.
Adam Schefter injured concussion protocols Patrick Mahomes should be allowed to play in the AFC title game against the Bills.
So there is no data on this?
That’s not quite right. According to the NFL, the median concussion protocol exit time for quarterbacks in the 2015-19 season is seven days.
The AFC Championship is a very important game. Aren’t players always dealing with injuries?
It does, but the NFL created this protocol to make sure it doesn’t do brain and neurological damage. By requiring a return to baseline, the NFL is implying that a player with a brain or neurological injury cannot return until he is fully healed. Contact with football can only aggravate the injury after partial recovery.
Mahomes shouldn’t be able to go back into the field or suck it up. And the Chiefs shouldn’t even take that calculated risk of allowing a player to return to the field if he has, say, a slightly sprained knee.
How can the NFL end this situation?
The biggest difference in the concussion protocol is that an independent physician must certify the return. This doctor is not affiliated with any team or player, but is jointly approved by the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association. The final step, which requires the approval of the independent physician, is to ensure the safety of the player or team acting too aggressively.
– Previews of the
Conference Championship – Match schedules of the four teams
– Schedules, brackets, TV time.
On Monday, Reid told reporters: There was a chance for Patrick to get back in the game. You saw him run into the tunnel. When he got on that stage, he felt pretty good. But there is a certain protocol to follow that takes it out of the hands of the coach, the player and the doctor.
When will we know more?
This will be the story of the week. We may know when (and if) Mahomes will move to Level 3 based on the report of the leaders’ participation in practices. Otherwise we may not know until the weekend if Mahomes can play. The Bills-Chiefs game starts at 6:40. And on Sunday.
Mahomes himself suffered a concussion during his career during the 2014 college season at Texas Tech. He returned to play in the team’s next game, which occurred two weeks later due to a scheduled free run.
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