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NFL | Dec 07

NFL’s Concussion Protocol Keeps Leaving Efficiency Doubts

Hayden Hurst’s Father Confirms That Panthers TE Has Been Diagnosed With Post-traumatic Amnesia

NFL’s Concussion Protocol Keeps Leaving Efficiency Doubts
Hayden Hurst #81 of the Carolina Panthers | Quinn Harris/getty Images/afp

Protect Players At All Cost! ✊

Don’t remember up to 4 hours after the game… – Hayden Hurst

On November 9th, Carolina Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst took a wicked hit in the fourth quarter of a Thursday night contest against the Bears but was allowed to remain in the game before being diagnosed with a severe concussion.

Post-Traumatic Amnesia

In recent NFL news, it was revealed that Hayden Hurst, a 2018 first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, not only suffered a concussion but experienced post-traumatic amnesia according to Hurst’s father, Jerry, who wrote, “(Hayden) has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Amnesia by an independent neurologist as a result of the hit he took in Chicago November 9.

Slow recovery, don’t know when he’ll be back,” his father said. “Prayers appreciated!

The controversy surrounding the hit was fueled by Hurst exhibiting the “fencing position” while lying on the field after the play. If you’re unaware, that’s the outstretched arm that reflexively reaches to the sky after someone’s been knocked out and has, in all likelihood, sustained a concussion.


NFL rumors persist that Hurst’s actions immediately following the hit signaled he was concussed and should have immediately been removed from the game. But that did not happen and only after the game ended was he diagnosed by a neurologist and the concussion confirmed.

Not only did he suffer a concussion, Hurst also said he didn’t recall anything that occurred four hours after the blow which falls under the category of Post Traumatic Amnesia. Hurst took to X (formerly Twitter) writing, “I suffered a pretty nasty concussion against the Bears a few weeks ago & don’t remember up to 4 hours after the game. While it was scary, it is NOT career-ending. I’m starting my return to play this week, so fingers crossed I make it back for the last few weeks!” Hurst wrote.

Did the League Falter?

The league wrote a rebuttal to the notion that they did not take appropriate action. In an email, they said, “Hurst had the wind knocked out of him on the play. There was no fencing posture. He was evaluated on the sidelines by the medical staff as he explained what happened. Concussion symptoms presented themselves following the game and the team appropriately placed him in the concussion protocol. It is not uncommon for symptoms to arise following a game.”

Concussions have been a problem since the game was invented. It’s a violent league comprised of testosterone-fueled behemoths who will do damage no matter how much padding the players wear. In response to that, the NFL Game Day Concussion Diagnosis and Management Protocol was implemented in 2011 and is updated annually.


The NFL pours millions of dollars into research for safer equipment and changes have been instituted to increase player safety. In 2011 Colt McCoy sustained a concussion and was left in the game because it was not picked up by team officials. The league immediately implemented independent certified athletic trainers (AT spotters) who are now at all the NFL games.

The NFL concussion protocol is working but it isn’t perfect. There will always be an injury that flies under the radar the same way there will always be traffic fatalities despite laws designed to prevent them but that doesn’t stop us from driving our cars. The league can always do better but at least they’re striving to improve year after year.

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