What is a concussion?
Update on both Travis Kelce and Jack Doyle, both Tight Ends who suffered concussions last week. But first, a little information about the injury. A concussion is a complex pathology that affects the brain. It occurs when the skull gets violently shaken or rocked enough that the brain hits the skull on the inside and swells up. Symptoms can include pain, headaches, vision issues, decreased balance, and memory loss, and a concussion can even be considered a traumatic brain injury (or TBI).
NFL Concussion Protocol
The NFL’s concussion protocol has 5 aspects: 1)If a concussion is suspected to have occurred, player is immediately removed from field. 2) Team Physician and Unaffiliated Neuro Consultant will review video of the play and perform a neurological exam. 3)If a concussion is suspected follow examination, player is escorted to locker for further evaluation. 4) If a concussion is diagnosed, there is no same day return to play. 5) If player passes examination, player can return to play but will be monitored for remainder of game.
Return to participation protocol
Once entering the Concussion Protocol, the player must the pass the Return to Participation Protocol. This includes rest and recovery, light aerobic exercise, continued aerobic exercise with addition of strength training exercises, football specific activities, and finally full football activity clearance. Once a player can safely perform this step ladder of activities without symptoms, they can return to play.
Kelce and Doyle Updates
With the NFL’s newer stricter concussion protocol, it is always hard to guess when a player might return from a concussion injury. In this case Kelce and Doyle have cleared the NFLs concussion protocol, so both will be available to play this weekend. However, buyer beware, because even if both of these guys get playing time, expect them to be on a play count and/or a short leash as secondary concussion syndrome becomes a dangerous reality (too many concussions in too little time frame). Add that to the possible symptoms and side effects of a concussion, and these tight ends could be playing with major to minor headaches, affected balance, dizziness and memory issues. These symptoms alone do not generally align with top level performance.