Teddy Bridgewater’s removal from Sunday’s game against the New York Jets led one NFL executive to say that the decision was an overreaction by the NFL.
Peter King quoted the unnamed executive, who didn’t filter his thoughts.
“What’s that thing you guys in the media do every week after the games?” asked the executive. “Overreaction Monday? As a league, I think today was Overreaction Sunday.”
Bridgewater was removed from Sunday’s game after the team’s first play from scrimmage. That came after he was hit by Jets rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner in the end zone.
Bridgewater not returning was based on an NFL spotter’s belief that the quarterback stumbled after getting up from the hit. Despite passing subsequent concussion tests, Bridgewater was prevented from returning to the game.
Teddy Bridgewater passed his concussion evaluation, per league source but the Booth Spotter ATC believed he saw Bridgewater stumble and triggered the new "ataxia" addition to the "no-go" symptoms in the NFL's amended concussion protocol
— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) October 9, 2022
To make matters worse for the Dolphins, he was flagged for intentional grounding on the play, with the Jets being awarded a safety.
Bridgewater’s replacement, Skylar Thompson, completed 19 of his 33 passes for 166 yards and had the Dolphins in contention to win the game after three quarters. However, 21 unanswered points in the final period saddled the Dolphins with their second straight loss.
The NFL’s intense focus on micromanaging any potential head injury comes in the wake of the severe criticism it’s received since the Dolphins’ game on Sept. 29. In that game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Tua Tagovailoa was carted off the field.
This is a disaster. Pray for Tua. Fire the medical staffs and coaches. I predicted this and I hate that I am right. Two concussions in 5 days can kill someone. This can end careers. How are we so stupid in 2022. pic.twitter.com/D8S8eEbgda
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) September 30, 2022
The key issue stemmed from his presence in the game, as it came just four days after he briefly staggered on the field after sustaining a hit to the head against the Buffalo Bills.
In the wake of that controversy, the NFLPA exercised its right to dismiss the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant from Tagovailoa’s concussion test against the Bills. That individual had been part of the decision to allow Tagovailoa to return to that game.
The focus on dealing with concussions and head injuries in the NFL has become more prominent in the past few decades. That’s the result of a number of former players dealing with the effects of repeated blows to their heads.
The status of Tagovailoa for Sunday’s home game against the Minnesota Vikings is unclear right now. If he’s not given the go-ahead, it seems possible that Bridgewater could return behind center for that contest.