BOSTON (CBS) — The NFL and NFLPA had an uphill battle to determine whether Tom Brady or the Patriots violated the league’s concussion protocol during the 2016 season. It’s now official that they could not find any rule-breaking.
The NFL confirmed in a statement released on Wednesday that they and the NFLPA concluded a “comprehensive” review of all the Patriots’ games in 2016. They found no violations of the league’s concussion protocol from Brady or the Patriots’ medical staff, and also found no evidence that Brady sustained a concussion or reported concussion symptoms. Their investigation included a look into Brady’s medical records, which he said last month is nobody’s business.
Read the full statement below, via NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy:
The NFL and NFLPA have conducted comprehensive evaluations of the Concussion Protocol as it applied to Tom Brady during the 2016-17 season. This review included an examination of all game film from every Patriots’ game last season, every report from the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultants and Booth ATC Spotters assigned to those games and Mr. Brady’s medical records, which were produced pursuant to a release signed by Mr. Brady. This review identified no evidence of any deviation from the Protocol by the Patriots’ medical staff or the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultants assigned to Patriots’ games or any indication that Mr. Brady sustained a concussion or reported signs or symptoms consistent with having sustained a concussion. We appreciate the cooperation of the Patriots’ medical staff in conducting this review.
As a reminder, under the NFL Concussion Protocol, the NFL and NFLPA encourage all players to report any signs or symptoms of concussion promptly and openly to their team medical staffs.
Concussion controversy has surrounded Brady ever since his wife Gisele Bundchen said in an interview with CBS This Morning that he suffered a concussion last season and implied that the reigning Super Bowl MVP has sustained multiple head injuries over the course of his 17-year career.
The fact that Brady and the Patriots never violated the NFL concussion protocol doesn’t necessarily mean that Brady never actually suffered a concussion, which is an idea that any longtime NFL fan would find hard to believe. But it would concern an entirely different issue with head injuries, that players may “hide” symptoms or fail to report head injuries for fear of losing their jobs or otherwise being taken off the field as a result of them.