The NFLPA “initiated an inquiry into why Monday night’s game wasn’t stopped” when Parker “showed concussion symptoms,” ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported.
Parker suffered the injury during the first quarter of New England’s 27-13 win at State Farm Stadium.
The wide receiver was visibly impaired after taking a hit to the head while making a contested reception. As the Patriots hurried to the line to prevent Arizona from challenging the catch, Parker struggled to balance in his stance, prompting fellow receiver Nelson Agholor to frantically call for the on-field officials to stop play. They eventually did so after Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury threw his challenge flag.
Parker was evaluated in the sideline medical tent and did not return to the game, with the Patriots officially ruling him out before halftime.
“I care about my guys, and we know that that’s a serious thing,” Agholor told NESN.com after the game.
The NFL employs independent in-stadium concussion spotters who are supposed to notify the referee when a player is showing signs of a head injury and then remove that player from the field for testing. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Monday night’s spotter pulled Devin McCourty when the veteran safety exhibited concussion symptoms later in the game.
“I think when those plays happen, I think the players on the field and his teammates around him, because he’s right there next to him, usually have a better idea of how he’s doing compared to someone that’s 30, 40 yards away,” Belichick said on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” when asked about how Parker’s injury was handled. “So that’s a little bit of a timing (question) there. You’re talking about seconds that are taking place. If you’re sure there’s something wrong, then you address it, and the players should address it right away. If you get a hit and it stuns you for a second or two and then everything pops back into normal, that happens plenty of times out there, too. I don’t think you want people running out onto the field after every play.
“But ultimately, I think the players made the right decision. I’m not sure how much of it was us, how much of it was the spotter. The spotter called down on Devin later in the game. That’s the process.”
Patriots receiver Jakobi Meyers missed Monday’s game with a concussion suffered late in the previous week’s loss to the Buffalo Bills. It remains to be seen whether either will be cleared in time for this Sunday’s road matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders.