Anyone else concerned about roughing the passer calls? Week 5 in the NFL was full of them, from Chris Jones on Derek Carr to Grady Jarrett on Tom Brady.
The mishandling of Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion — or the lack of it, in the Dolphins opinion the last few weeks — forced the NFL to make some changes.
First, the league altered its concussion protocol, adding “no-go” symptoms to this mix. Here’s how the NFL outlined this change:
“Specifically, the term ‘ataxia’ has been added to the mandatory ‘no-go’ symptoms. ‘Ataxia’ is defined as abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue. In other words, if a player is diagnosed with ‘ataxia’ by any club or neutral physician involved in the application of the Concussion Protocol, he will be prohibited from returning to the game, and will receive the follow-up care required by the Protocol.”
Fair enough. That change likely should’ve been made a decade ago, but better late than never.
The league, either intentionally or not, has also punished its own players for the Dolphins organizational flaws. Roughing the passer calls were way up this week, as officials went the extra mile to protect quarterbacks. In some cases, they went too far.
Week 5 worst calls: Officials don’t protect Kenny Pickett
NFL officials protected just about every quarterback in the league this week minus Pickett, the rookie out of Pittsburgh. The Steelers future at the quarterback position started his first career game — a difficult assignment to say the least. Pittsburgh played horribly, and the majority of Pickett’s snaps took place in garbage time.
Yet, this didn’t stop the Bills from taking a couple of questionable shots at Pickett, neither of which was called for a penalty.
Late in the third quarter, Pickett was drilled by former college teammate Damar Hamlin while he was sliding. Were Pickett, say, Tom Brady, Hamlin would’ve been thrown out of the game.
Pickett’s teammate, James Daniels, came to his defense after the play.
Later in the same game, Shaq Lawson offered Pickett another ‘Welcome to the NFL’ moment. This time, Pickett stood up for himself.
Rather than whining to the officials, Pickett got up in Lawson’s face, who was having none of it.
Needless to safe, Pickett shouldn’t have to do his own policing, and neither should his teammates.