NFL, NFLPA To Review Dolphins’ Concussion Protocol Process


After getting absolutely walloped by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree shortly after getting rid of the football in Sunday’s Wild Card game, Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore stayed flat on his back on the ground for several minutes. After finally getting to his feet after being checked over thoroughly by the Dolphins medical staff, Moore reentered the game after missing just one play and that shocked a lot of people considering how serious the league appears to be currently when it comes to players possibly suffering concussions.

The NFL announced on Monday that they arte initiating a review of application of concussion protocol following hit by Dupree on Moore and later in the day the NFLPA announced they would do so as well in a written statement.

“The NFLPA will review the application of the Concussion Protocols by Miami’s medical staff in connection with the hit by Pittsburgh’s Bud Dupree on Miami quarterback Matt Moore in Sunday’s Dolphins-Steelers game.”

This isn’t overly surprising and it will now be interesting to see if the NFL and NFLPA find any wrong-doing by the Dolphins medical staff as it relates to how the handled Moore on Sunday.

“I just got popped,” Moore said after the game when asked about the hit he received from Dupree during the second quarter. “I just needed a second there. I got checked out. I felt fine. It was more of my jaw than anything else. I felt good. I came back in and I was fine. He got me pretty good.”


While Dupree indeed did get Moore “pretty good”, the quarterback still played fairly well all things considered after being cleared quickly to return to the game. Some, however, apparently believe Moore “may not have completely had his wits about him” after the hit, according to Pro Football Talk.

Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said he didn’t think Dupree’s hit caused Moore any problems moving forward.

“I didn’t think so,” Gase said. “The fumble he was trying to, he saw the guy, and we busted the protection. He saw him, he even came back and said ‘I should have just taken the sack’ and then the interception, the guy made a great play; he was in the line of scrimmage, we’re running an 18-yard crossing route and the guy goes flying back and makes a pick. He made a great play. So, when they told me he was coming back in, I started talking to him, he was good. They went through the league, did their deal, then our trainers and he cleared everything.”

While he did fumble twice later on in the game, Moore still completed 23 of his 29 ensuing pass attempts after being allowed to return and in my opinion, really looked no worse for wear. He did, however, throw an ugly interception to Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier with 6:32 left in the third quarter.

As for Dupree, we’ll likely find out in the next day or two whether or not he’ll incur a fine for his hit on Moore.

  • The Tony

    There definitely needs to be a review for the leagues concussion protocol system. Just a few weeks ago Burflict was clearly concussed and cleared to return to the game. If I remember correctly he missed the following game with a concussion.

  • pittsburghjoe

    I think the protocol is just fine. You have to APPLY it for it to work. The failure was in application, not the protocol. Sounds like a human made a mistake…. maybe even on purpose.

  • VaDave

    No joke Tony. He was totally out to lunch. He got whacked last year too, not sure if it was the wildcard game or our second game with the Bengals. They actually took him of the field last year, but let him come back in.

  • VaDave

    I’m sure there are certain segment of the players, and coaches and possibly teams view this as a nuisance.

  • barely_free

    Moore missed only one play after a vicious hit that left him on the ground for a few minutes. Their is no way the Dolphins competed an adequate evaluation of him in only 30 seconds.

  • LouisLippsSinksShips

    Are they going to do the same for Ross Cockrell and our sideline? Equally surprised to see him back on the field at all, let alone so quickly, after taking the friendly fire from Mitchell.

  • Jaybird

    How come our guys have to go in to the locker room and miss a decent amount of plays when they get suspected concussions? Like Hargrave last week.
    I’m glad our team seems to take its time and do it the right way.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Hargrave only missed one snap. He then played on the first two snaps of the next drive, but then left the game. DeCastro also only missed one snap, but in both of those instances, the play that they came off was the second-to-last play of the drive.

  • Matthew Marczi

    There was an entire halftime between the time he came off to the time he played another snap, so not sure what you’re talking about.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Absolutely. There are still people like Hines Ward in the league. There’s a lot of good in that, but also a little bad.

  • PaeperCup

    This sport is violent.

  • Jaybird

    But Hargrave had to go into the locker room , that’s my point, not so much about how many snaps missed. I’m glad the Steelers are looking over these guys, and I would have hated to see a Steeler go in after taking a hit like Moore did.

  • steelburg

    He is talking about Cockrell getting a concussion! If you go back and watch that hit I don’t care how much time passed he got knocked out. He was more out on that hit by Mitchell then Moore was for the Dolphins after his hit from Dupree.

  • LouisLippsSinksShips

    I was mistaken about the timing (of course it happened right before the fumble that ended the 1st half, so he had some rest via halftime). As steelburg said, though, the point still stands that it was remarkable he cleared the protocol and went back on the field. He was down and his arms showed the “Fencing Response” (that scary thing where the guy’s arms so stiff in a weird position while they’re out cold).

    I’m glad (and I hope) that both Moore and Cockrell were fine after their respective hits…I’ve just seen enough of those that I was surprised both came back to play.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I don’t think he looked knocked out at all. Looked more like he had a stinger. He was clearly cognizant right after it happened and was halfway sitting up.

  • LouisLippsSinksShips

    Haha, Mitchell tried to pick him up like Weekend at Bernie’s…which you do NOT do with someone in that situation!

  • steelburg

    It was a helmet to helmet hit by Mitchell how did he look like he had a stinger? Lol.

  • steelburg

    I agree. I remember several years back when Ryan Clark hit Willis McGahee and his arms locked up the same way that Cockrell’s did when Mitchell hit him?

  • Carlos

    After the bs shown by CIN in Burfict’s case and now this one …the protocol is kind of a joke

  • Carlos

    He didn’t play again, missed both games

  • LucasY59

    they are reviewing it so they can justify giving Bud a fine

    I dont think it was a dirty play, and Moore returning after one play (he wouldve been in right away if rules allowed it) proves it, was incidental contact with the facemask on a very hard hit (if he hadnt grazed the bottom of the facemask it wouldve been 100% legal)

  • Rob S.

    I think the big concern is how quickly he was cleared. In Cockrells case, they had all of halftime to do tests. It’s hard to believe you can make a call and clear someone in 5 minutes.

  • PaeperCup

    I wonder who gets fined for letting Moore back into the game. As they review this play they will see that this hit isn’t something you can brush off and come in a play later.

  • dwsteelers

    I think Burfict’s baseline score is so low anyone could pass it and get back on the feild!!!!!

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Agreed. I think he was in a fog during the play where JH strip sacked him as he seemed to be slow to see him and react.

  • Steel B

    Yeah no way he could have been properly cleared that fast after laying on the ground for a few minutes. No way.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Because his neck got compressed. It was actually shoulder to helmet, and Cockrell never lost consciousness or anything like that. He looked like he just took a blow that compressed his spine. I’m not saying there’s no way he could have had a concussion, but it’s far from unreasonable that he cleared the concussion protocol during halftime.

  • Matthew Marczi

    They don’t need to justify it, it was a penalty by definition. Doesn’t mean it was intentional or dirty.

  • Brendon Glad

    I’m just glad there hasn’t been a lot of junk calling it “dirty”. It was unfortunate. Very much like some of the hits that James Harrison was punished for.
    The QB left the pocket…began a diving sidearm throw, and Dupree just BARELY missed getting his entire helmet under the head area. Almost a perfect piece of violent forceful football.
    The penalty was correct…but it definitely was not dirty. And I hope the NFL does not fine him severely. I think the strangeness of Moore’s choice of body position for that throw was the entire reason why Dupree crowned him in the jaw.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I’m afraid I don’t really see the Cockrell situation in the same light as you, but I do have to compliment you on your username.

  • Brendon Glad

    Yep…the teams’ and the league’s “independent medical examiner” tend to get lost in the moment. If it was a preseason game, Moore probably would have had to answer about 30 minutes of questions before he went back in. (And still probably woulda been forced to sit).
    I’m not going to complain about it, because I don’t know these players personally. I prefer a looser style of permission back into the game. It’s the NFL’s money. They already got sued once. If they want to let guys run back out there 3 minutes after he was down on the ground for 2 minutes, then so be it. They probably will get sued again.
    The Steelers are always very responsible with concussions so I never feel like a Steeler who goes back out onto the field is risking his future Steeler career or future well-being.

  • stan

    I’m glad I haven’t heard any “dirty” talk too. I did think Dupree was out of control and, though you’re right that Moore “ducking” changed the target area, Dupree also lowered his helmet. That was the “dirtiest” part of it.

  • Brendon Glad

    I still remember Edelman being knocked completely off his rocker in the Seahawk Super Bowl. Then managing to stay on the field and catch the winning TD. And he’s none the worse for wear. Maybe next time he does that, he will get hit in the head shortly thereafter, and be mentally handicapped for the rest of his life. Oh well…since the Patriots always wanna push everything to win that much, then it would be very hard for me to feel sorry for him. He would get enough sympathy elsewhere.

  • LucasY59

    right and normal penalties dont result in fines, but if they can say they Dolphins missed protocol it would give them more reason to say that Dupree deserves a fine (it just seems like they will use every excuse to fine a player) there is still a possibility that he gets fined even if the Dolphins are in the clear of following protocol

    my point was that it was not a dirty hit since Moore was able to (quickly) return (protocol or not) Bud hit him hard and that is why he laid there for quite awhile, but the incidental head contact was not the major issue

  • Brendon Glad

    The speed of it was what shocked everyone the most, I think. He came at Moore in those 10 yards like Moore robbed his house or something. lol

  • Brendon Glad

    Ahhhh Mike Mitchell…a half step late once again…but as easy as it is to dis Mitch, he did have a pretty good game. And made a very big play on the sack fumble.
    The tarzan like scream after “stuffing” Ajayi for a 9 yard gain in the 3rd qtr. still made me shake my head and text a few Steeler friends in bewilderment.

  • VaDave

    I do applaud the league for making sure the guidelines are applied uniformly.

  • Matt Manzo

    In real time he looked like a bullet moving at him!

  • VaDave

    Probably…. Looks like he sold his baseline answers to the league at large. Kind of like buying answers to the professor’s exam….

  • Matt Manzo

    I was surprised he came back in so soon. But when they said it was his jaw, I thought that made sense.

  • VaDave

    The only Steeler game he’s missed in the last 2 seasons was the one he was suspended. If he missed others, than make this failure all the more egregious.

  • JNick

    I think the difference is Burfict at least left the field went to the locker toom and got tested. Moore barely had his helmet off and then ran back to the coach. Gase needs to be punished for putting Moore back in the game. Fine him like they send slips to the players for concussing other players.

  • VaDave

    This issue has realy hit home with the Steelers. Losing Long, Webster, Strezlzyk, coupled the issues Hodge has, no wonder they are taking this very seriously.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Actually, it seems to me pretty much all roughing the passer, unnecessary roughness penalties end up getting a fine unless review patently shows that it was a bad call on the field. I would expect that Dupree will be fined, but I won’t take that as a sign that the league believes it was dirty or intentional.

  • mokhkw

    Dirty, like concussions, is obviously subjective depending on who’s telling the story.

    Your guy hits a guy in the head, it’s not dirty.

    Their guy hits your guy in the head, it’s dirty.

    Your guy takes a helmet hit, he’s got a stinger.

    Their guy takes a helmet hit, he’s got a concussion.

  • VaDave

    True, Burflict did leave the field with the NFL Rep. Moore was interviewed on the sideline instead by the NFL guy before he went back in the game. So his participation was sanctioned by the NFL. Apparently, so was Burfict.

  • Big White

    Cockrell also got knocked “stiff” which is the first sign of head trauma. Played entire 2nd half. This is all smoke and mirrors by the league. They could care less.

  • Hypo Cycloid

    Yes. This is the problem the league still wishes was under the rug.

  • Brendon Glad

    Maybe for some fans, but not for me…I approved of Antonio Brown not playing in the 2nd playoff game last year. And was happy he did not get put out there in the last few plays after the Burfict hit in the first playoff game.
    Approved of Ben missing the Ravens game 2-3 years ago with a concussion.
    And i know what a dirty hit is too. The Dupree hit was NOT dirty. How can he expect the QB to throw a sidearm throw that looked like a 2nd baseman barehanding an infield roller and throwing to first base? Very weird throw. The fact that the top inch of Dupree’s helmet hit the bottom part of Moore’s face (as Moore did that weird throw)…tells me it wasn’t dirty.
    If you think I’m being a homer…I will add that Eli Rogers’ blindside block later-on was much closer to dirty than Dupree’s hit was.

  • Brendon Glad

    I know…is Moore under contract for next year? He showed me something.

  • Brendon Glad

    The league definitely does not care. But they are being watched. The day someone gets thrown back in there and then gets hit again and dies or made severely mentally handicapped for life, then they will get sued again massively, and probably will regret being so lax. Or will they regret it? They certainly don’t want every big playoff hit to require the recipient to receive an hour-long barrage of tests before he can return. Or else teams would just send a scrub in to hit Tom Brady, or Rodgers, or Ben late in the head, and take their chances on the punishment later.

  • mokhkw

    Was making a general comment, not one directed at you. If you read the comments made in the Burfict/DeCastro thread a few weeks back and now this one I think you will see where I’m coming from.

    I just hope to hell no parents or coaches are reading some of the opinions on here about concussions & taking them as fact.

  • Brendon Glad

    And you were right in ways that I don’t like to admit…like how I care much much much less about brain damage to Burfict than I do to about anyone else in the world.
    And how I care much more about Steelers brains in regards to how it could affect their future Steelers careers, vs. how much I care about their happy healthy lives after football. I’d prefer both…but I know that their Steelers life is more important to me than trying to pretend that I have a personal relationship with them.

  • Rye Stye

    I was watching with my wife, who could careless about football. After the hit she asked, “Is he dead?”. I laughed a bit and said “He may be”.