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#pounditTuesday, December 6, 2022

Bill Belichick shares interesting information about concussion checks

Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines during the second half of their loss to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick has said countless times throughout his career that he is not a doctor and does not dabble in diagnosing injuries, but there is apparently at least one scenario in which the future Hall of Fame coach forms something of a medical opinion.

The NFL has dealt with a massive amount of backlash after Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion on Thursday night. Tagovailoa played in the game just days after he took a big hit and appeared extremely unsteady on his feet in Miami’s previous game. Doctors said Tagovailoa only suffered a back injury and cleared him to return in that contest.

During his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Belichick was asked if he has ever removed a player from a game for concussion symptoms or refused to let a player go back in even after they were cleared. He said that has “absolutely” happened.

“Even if the medical people were to clear a player, we still go through a coaching clearance to make sure that he’s ready to play football, not just medically cleared,” Belichick said.

Many people will be surprised by Belichick’s revelation. Some might even be skeptical. The general belief is that NFL teams do everything they can to keep players on the field, regardless of the risks. Belichick’s comments indicate there are situations where coaches prioritize the safety of players.

The NFL has made changes to its concussion protocol in the wake of the Tagovailoa situation. One independent doctor was also fired for clearing the quarterback in Week 3.

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