The Redskins and the Bengals have a game on Sunday. What makes the game especially interesting is the fact that it will be situated in London; and that matters because Redskins players Jordan Reed and Josh Norman are dealing with a few health complications at the moment, complications that could affect the NFL odds for the Sunday game.
Reed and Norman’s situations fall under the auspices of the NFL concussion Protocol. Both players have to see a Neurologist who will determine whether they can play the Wembley stadium game on Sunday before they take their flight on Thursday.
Of course, even if the neurologist refuses to clear the pair for the Sunday game, the NFL protocols do not prevent concussed players from partaking in airline travel; this means that Reed and Norman could end up in London regardless of whether or not they will play the Sunday game.
The NFL protocols are very comprehensive and they provide detailed instructions that provide guidance to coaches when it comes to bringing concussed players back into active competition. The NFL protocols are not so detailed as to set out a specific timetable for a player’s return, though.
Rather, they accept that each case is unique and, instead, provide very basic guidelines that can be used to bring a concussed but recovering player back into active competition. It is impossible to present specific time frames that players must follow before they can return to the field for training or even regular games.
Every player tends to recover at a different rate; for that reason, the protocols try and provide as much leeway to teams when it comes to dealing with concussed players that are recovering.
This is probably the same reason why airline travel as a factor isn’t addressed by the protocols; there is no way to determine whether or not a concussed player is fit for airline travel, not when most players are very distinct from one another.
The Redskins need to fly out on Thursday for London, and Coach Jay Gruden suggested that he would only bring Reed and Norman along if they were cleared by the neurologist to play on Sunday.
While most people agree that Norman and Reed wouldn’t be in any immediate danger if they partook in airline travel even with their concussions, the science surrounding concussions and airline travel isn’t very clear.
Airline travel is difficult in the best of circumstances, especially when one is traveling to very distant places; from the pressure to changes in time zones, the experience can have a negative impact on the body.
Right now, the only thing that science agrees upon is the fact that airline travel can make recovery last longer. The Concussion Reed suffered at Baltimore recently kept him out of the last two games.
Norman’s situation arose when his helmet collided with the Ford Field Turf at Detroit. Both Reed and Norman took part in Wednesday’s practice, though only for a limited time.
Both players claimed they were fine though they clearly weren’t performing at their best. It will be interesting to see the way the Redskins fair without Reed and Norman.