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NFL, NFLPA to modify concussion protocol to enhance player safety

AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images / Denver Post / Getty

The NFL and players' association have agreed to modify the league's concussion protocol to enhance player safety, the union announced in a statement Saturday.

"We anticipate changes to the protocol being made in the coming days based on what has been learned thus far in the review process," the statement read.

The changes haven't been officially announced yet, but the league and union are expected to agree to new protocols in which a player won't be allowed to return to the game any time they demonstrate any instability, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

That change could go into effect as early as Week 5, Schefter notes.

The NFL and NFLPA also announced that their investigation into the application of the concussion protocol involving Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains ongoing.

The investigation began after Tagovailoa briefly exited in Miami's Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills after he got up stumbling following a big hit late in the second quarter. He returned to the game following halftime. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said afterward that the signal-caller didn't suffer a concussion, adding that a back injury caused him to stumble.

Tagovailoa was then stretchered off the field during Thursday's contest versus the Cincinnati Bengals due to head and neck injuries after his head appeared to hit the turf as he took a sack. He's currently in the concussion protocol.

The NFLPA reportedly has fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant involved in clearing Tagovailoa to return to the Bills game, saying the consultant made "several mistakes" in his evaluation.

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