So I Have A Concussion, How Do I get Back Out On The Field?

by Douglas O’Connor
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     Concussion protocol is nothing new to the Buccaneers this year. Wide receiver Mike Evans was in in out of protocol in less than a week. While right guard Kevin Pamphile took longer and missed a game. Now the Bucs have Adam Humphries jumping through the hoops. So what exactly does a player have to do to get back out on the field and get to playing again?

     All NFL players go through a neurological test sometime during the preseason to get a baseline. This baseline status is used to evaluate a players recovery during the week through a series of physical test that gradually increase in difficulty. Once a player returns to his baseline he can begin his recovery. Complete an exercise, baseline normal? Move up to the next, and so on and so forth until the player is cleared for full participation.
Rest and recovery: Until a player returns to the “baseline level of signs and symptoms and neurological examination,” only limited stretching and balance activities are recommended. Electronics, social media and team meetings are all to be avoided.

Light aerobic exercise: The NFL recommends 10-20 minutes on a stationary bike or treadmill without resistance training or weight training. The cardiovascular activity is monitored by an athletic trainer to “determine if there are any recurrent concussion signs or symptoms.”

Continued aerobic exercise and introduction of strength training: Increased duration and intensity of aerobic exercise with strength training added. An athletic trainer will supervise to watch for recurrent concussions signs or symptoms.

Football specific activities: The cognitive load of playing football will be added and players will participate in non-contact activities for the typical duration of a full practice.

Full football activity/clearance: A player returns to full participation in practice, including contact without restriction.

     If you want to read the official NFL document, I’ve added a link to a PDF file HERE.
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Thanks for reading and as always Go Bucs!!

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