A joint review by the NFL and NFL Players Association determined the Miami Dolphins did not “strictly follow” concussion protocol following a hit on quarterback Matt Moore in the team’s wild-card playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In a statement released by the league, the NFL said it notified the Dolphins they “must engage their staff in a full review of the protocol and conduct additional education, if necessary” in the wake of the finding. The NFL warned that any future deviation from the league’s protocol “may result in enhanced discipline” against the Dolphins, which could include monetary fines.
The review comes after Moore sustained a hit to the chin and mouth area from Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree in the second quarter of the Jan. 8 game. Dupree was flagged for roughing the passer on the hit, and Moore got up a short time later and headed to the sideline. He missed one play before returning to the game.
The NFL and NFLPA determined the Dolphins failed to recognize that Moore’s bleeding from the mouth necessitated that he undergo further evaluation for a concussion in the locker room as outlined in the concussion protocol.
However, it was determined that “competitive issues” did not result in Moore being allowed back into the game. In addition, the NFL and NFLPA found Moore didn’t “demonstrate any concussion symptoms” at any period after the hit.
Moore downplayed the hit after the game, saying “I just got popped.”
He added: “Needed a second there. So got checked out, felt fine, was really more my jaw than anything else. Felt good, came back in, was fine.”