For the second straight week, a Florida-based NFL team allowed a player to get back on the field after he suffered a concussion. At least last night the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to determine they made a mistake with Cameron Brate and made the 31-year-old tight end sit out the second half of Sunday’s 41-31 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
With all eyes on potential head injuries in the wake of everything that went down with Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins last week, Tampa Bay did not initially play it safe with Brate when he was shaken up right before halftime after catching a pass for a nine-yard gain and colliding with teammate Chris Godwin while being hit.
Brate attempted to get off the field following the collision and eventually did after Tampa Bay was hit with a penalty for having too many men on the field. However, Brate re-entered the game and was the intended receiver on two incompletions on a 75-yard drive that ended the half.
Brate did not play in the second half and is currently in the concussion protocol, which begs the question of why he was allowed to re-enter the game at all. Speaking after the loss, Tampa coach Todd Bowles had no answers.
“I didn’t exactly see what happened when he came back in the game, so I’ve got to look at the film and see that,” Bowles said. “Again, I’ve got to see what happened. I don’t know for sure, so I really can’t answer that question.”
It will be interesting to see what Bowles and the Bucs do say when they answer for what happened with Brate on Sunday as Tampa is expected to address the situation as soon as today, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
Brate, who was one of at least 12 players ruled out on Sunday due to head injuries including New England quarterback Brian Hoyer, finished the game with four catches for 32 yards. His status for Week 5 is very much up in the air especially now that the NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to the parameters of an updated concussion protocol that could go into effect as soon as Week 5.
“The NFL and the NFLPA agree that modifications to the Concussion Protocol are needed to enhance player safety,” per a joint statement. “The NFLPA’s Mackey-White Health & Safety Committee and the NFL’s Head Neck and Spine Committee have already begun conversations around the use of the term ‘Gross Motor Instability’ and we anticipate changes to the protocol being made in the coming days based on what has been learned thus far in the review process.”