HomeSportsTony Dungy Breaks NFL Concussion Protocol After Cameron Brate Injury: 'System Broken'

Tony Dungy Breaks NFL Concussion Protocol After Cameron Brate Injury: ‘System Broken’


Tony Dungy took issue with the return of Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate to Sunday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs after he initially suffered an injury.

Brate sat out the second half of the Buccaneers’ 41-31 loss to the Chiefs with a concussion after colliding with teammate Chris Godwin while being tackled.

During the play, Brate got to his feet and headed for the sideline, but he didn’t get off the field fast enough for Tampa Bay to avoid a penalty for having too many players on the field when quarterback Tom Brady took the snap to the next play with 1. :15 remaining in the first half.

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Tony Dungy of NBC Sports during an NFL game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on September 8, 2022.
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Brate returned to the game and was the intended target on two incomplete passes from Brady in the 12-play drive.

With the senses of the NFL world heightened since Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s injury, Dungy rebuked the league’s concussion protocol in a series of tweets Monday.

“System down. I was on the sideline very close to Brate; obviously the bell had rung. There’s a league-designated spotter in the press box who should stop the game and alert the referee. He shouldn’t have been called.” allowed to return to Brate until after an evaluation. Why didn’t that happen? Dungy wrote.

“Coaches, team doctors and game officials are all watching the game and everyone can intervene. But the league-designated spotter has the ability to call the referee, stop the game and order the player to leave the game to be evaluated, without penalty or time out. to the team”.

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Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles said after the game that Brate was in concussion protocol. He couldn’t explain why he was allowed to re-enter the game in the last minute of the first half.

“I didn’t see exactly what happened when he got back in the game,” Bowles said. “I have to see the movie.”

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate during Sunday's game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate during Sunday’s game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
(Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Tagovailoa was pulled from Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals with a head injury. He was tackled and tackled to the ground by a Bengals defensive lineman. The injury, coupled with him taking a hit against the Buffalo Bills just four days earlier, raised concerns about Tagovailoa. He would travel with the team back home after being released from the hospital.

The NFL Players Association has since reportedly fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who evaluated Tagovailoa on Sunday against the Bills. The NFL and NFLPA have launched a joint review of the doctor’s decision to clear Tagovailoa and allow him to return to the game.

There are three unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants at each game who are paid jointly by the league and union to work with team doctors to diagnose concussions.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate misses a catch during the first half of a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Tampa, Florida.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate misses a catch during the first half of a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Tampa, Florida.
(AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

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The NFL and NFLPA said they have not drawn any conclusions about “medical errors or protocol violations” while the investigation is still ongoing. But the two added that “modifications are needed … to improve player safety.” They said they expect “changes to the (concussion) protocol” to happen “in the coming days based on what has been learned so far in the review process.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.



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