Patriots’ DeVante Parker calls out NFL after win in Arizona
After seeing how badly the NFL botched the handling of Tua Tagovailoa’s concussions earlier in the season, you think the alleged new safety protocols they put into place would be top-notch. But that was certainly not the case when the Patriots faced the Cardinals on Monday Night Football.
Late in the first quarter, a pass to DeVante Parker was good for a first down. Upon standing after the completion, Parker appeared clearly out of it. He was helped up by Cole Strange and stumbled when walking back to line up for the next play. The “concussion spotters” that the NFL has implemented were nowhere to be seen, even with the apparent injury that Parker has sustained.
As the Patriots lined up to get to the next play, Nelson Agholor began waving his arms, pointing at Parker in an attempt to stop the game. But instead of the referees or the “spotters” pausing the clock to escort Parker to the sideline, the play was stopped due to Cardinals’ head coach Kliff Kingsbury challenging the previous play. Agholor then took Parker’s arm to help him to New England’s sideline, where he was ruled out with a head injury shortly after.
Parker’s injury was evident right away to most watching the game, in person and at home. So much so that even Troy Aikman commented on the incident as it was unfolding.
The sequence of events gained national attention quickly, forcing the NFL to make a statement. Shortly after noon on Tuesday, they announced the NFL and NFLPA would be reviewing and investigating the lack of action taken by the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants at the game.
Parker took to Twitter after the announcement, letting the league know that he would also like an answer.
He also posted to his Instagram stories, calling out the NFL for their improper handling of his injury while also thanking Agholor for helping him when he needed it most.
Hopefully, this is a situation that will be resolved, given the significance concussions can have on a person. The handling of Tua’s head injuries earlier this season was not good, nor was the NFL’s subsequent downplaying of the situation.
If player health and safety are truly dealt with the utmost importance, the review and investigation of this incident will take precedence over any non-health-related situations the league may be dealing with. The strides major league sports have taken in properly diagnosing and treating head injuries have been incredible over the last several years. But when an incident like this happens, it proves there’s a long way left to go.