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NFL-NFLPA joint investigation: Handling of Patriots safety Patrick Chung’s concussion didn’t violate protocol

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The veteran left the Patriots’ week two game with a head injury.

New England Patriots v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The New England Patriots did not only get defeated during their week two contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars, they also lost two of their defensive starters along the way: defensive edge Trey Flowers and strong safety Patrick Chung both left the game because of concussions. While the protocol was correctly applied in Flowers’ case there were some concerns when it comes to how Chung was treated.

After a play in the second quarter, the veteran was slow to get up and immediately removed from the game. After only one play on the sidelines, however, he returned to the action – only to be shut down for good during halftime. This procedure raised questions at the time and ultimately led to an investigation by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. Today, the results were announced: no wrongdoing was found.

According to a joint statement, the league and the players union conducted interviews with “relevant Patriots personnel, the game official involved, the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant (UNC) and the booth ATC spotter.” The interviews established that none of the persons in question felt the need to initiate the concussion protocol right after Chung left the game for the first time.

However, the Patriots’ coaching staff apparently “observed behavior that warranted a sideline review” after the first-time team captain had entered the contest again. This then led to him being placed in the concussion protocol, being removed from the contest a second time, and after a reevaluation being declared out. According to the press release by the NFL and NFLPA, the 31-year old showed delayed concussion symptoms.

Chung, who also missed last week’s game against the Detroit Lions because of the concussion, returned to practice this week but is still a limited participant.