NFL, NFLPA Reviewing Handling of Patriots' DeVante Parker's Concussion vs. Cardinals

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 13, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 24: DeVante Parker #1 of the New England Patriots looks on against the Minnesota Vikings in the second quarter of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Patriots 33-26. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
David Berding/Getty Images

New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker suffered a concussion during Monday's win over the Arizona Cardinals, and the league and the NFLPA are investigating how the injury was handled.

Parker appeared to come up wobbly following a hit, as ESPN broadcaster Troy Aikman noticed.

The game only stopped because fellow Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor recognized something was wrong and waved his arms to catch the attention of others.

Parker does not seem pleased with the situation:

Zack Cox @ZackCoxNESN

DeVante Parker speaks out on the NFL's handling of his head injury (and thanks Nelson Agholor for his help). <a href="https://t.co/6iKAK0pYYk">pic.twitter.com/6iKAK0pYYk</a>

DeVante Parker @DeVanteParker11

Please tell me <a href="https://t.co/NyeXMMTtz6">https://t.co/NyeXMMTtz6</a>

The play happened during the first quarter when Parker took a hit from Cardinals defensive back Antonio Hamilton.

It wasn't clear whether Parker completed the catch, so the Patriots hustled to the line of scrimmage in an effort to snap it before a challenge could occur. While that added to the confusion of the situation, Agholor lined up alongside Parker and attempted to call for a stoppage.

The stoppage came, but only because the Cardinals challenged whether it was a catch.

Parker left for the locker room during the unsuccessful challenge and never returned to the game.

The treatment and recognition of concussion symptoms has been a major storyline in the NFL this season because of a previous review of how Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's injury was handled.

As ESPN noted, Tagovailoa hit his head on the ground and then stumbled on his way back to the huddle during a Week 3 win over the Buffalo Bills. He told the team physician and an independent neurotrauma consultant that ankle and back injuries caused him to stumble.

However, he suffered a concussion during a scary scene just four days later against the Cincinnati Bengals and was hospitalized, and he missed nearly a month of play.

The independent neurotrauma consultant from the Week 3 game was fired, and the league and NFLPA changed the concussion protocol to include ataxia, which would have covered Tagovailoa's stumbling, to the list of symptoms that mean a player should not be on the field.

As for the Patriots, they improved to 7-6 with Monday's 27-13 win over the Cardinals even though they were without Parker, wide receiver Jakobi Meyers and running backs Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris for most of the game.