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NFL, NFLPA to review Giants’ Sterling Shepard concussion

Sterling Shepard

The NFL and NFL Players Association have initiated a standard review of concussion protocols after New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard suffered a concussion last Sunday but finished the game, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He will not play on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

“There was a breach in the protocol and now both sides are trying to figure out how and why,” Schefter says.

The play in question took place in the third quarter during New York’s 35-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Shepard ran into cornerback Anthony Brown and immediately fell backward, looking discombobulated afterwards. Despite struggling to get on his feet, Shepard flagged off Giants trainers.

Said Schefter: “The NFL deploys neurological spotters on both sidelines — as well as another set of eyes in the press box — to prevent players from remaining in the game after they are knocked woozy. However, Shepard somehow evaded all NFL officials — and the Giants staff — to not miss a play and finish the game.”

Shepard finished the game catching six passes for 42 yards.

The NFL is rare to review concussions, as they instead do so immediately. Since 2017, the league has reviewed three concussions out of 1,200 plays, all to quarterbacks: Cam Newton, Tom Savage, and Russell Wilson. The league did not do so in 2018.

The league’s reviewing of a concussion despite a game-ending is a testament to the efforts put into attempting to stop their long-history of head injuries.

Without Shepard, the Giants receiving corps looks slim. With Golden Tate also sidelined (suspension), New York may focus their offense on tight end Evan Engram and running back Saquon Barkley.

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