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NFL spotters concluded Bucs’ Cameron Brate was hit in the shoulder, not the head

That’s the reason the league’s concussion protocol wasn’t triggered until Brate demonstrated symptoms of a concussion at halftime, the NFL announced Tuesday.
Bucs tight end Cameron Brate did not return to Sunday's game in the second half after exhibiting symptoms of a concussion.
Bucs tight end Cameron Brate did not return to Sunday's game in the second half after exhibiting symptoms of a concussion. [ ALEX MENENDEZ | AP ]
Published Oct. 5|Updated Oct. 5

TAMPA — Cameron Brate sustained a concussion when he collided with a teammate in the second half of Sunday’s 41-31 loss to the Chiefs.

But the independent spotters in the booth above Raymond James Stadium concluded that Brate had been struck in the shoulder after catching a pass from Tom Brady and running into receiver Chris Godwin.

That’s the reason the league’s concussion protocol wasn’t triggered until Brate demonstrated symptoms of a concussion at halftime, the NFL announced Tuesday after gathering information about the incident.

“Immediately after the game, the NFL contacted the team and unaffiliated medical personnel to gather information concerning the injury sustained by Tampa Bay’s Cameron Brate,” the NFL said in a statement provided to the Tampa Bay Times. “The league reviewed the information with the NFL Players Association. Based on the standardized gameday reports, it’s clear to both parties that the spotters in the booth concluded that Brate was hit in the shoulder and therefore did not trigger the concussion protocols. As soon as medical personnel identified concussion symptoms, they removed Brate from this game.”

The NFL Players Association also backed that assessment after reviewing the situation.

Bucs coach Todd Bowles said Monday that Brate was checked three times on the sideline after the collision and only complained of shoulder soreness, which is why he went back in the game. He was targeted three more times with passes before the first half ended.

But Brate did indeed sustain a concussion on that play, which is why he was not allowed to return to the game after experiencing symptoms.

The collision occurred on a a 9-yard reception with 1:32 remaining in the second quarter. He remained on the turf for five seconds before running to the sideline.

Cade Otton replaced Brate and, with the clock running, the Bucs snapped the football 17 seconds after the collision. But Brate still had not made it to the sideline and Tampa Bay was penalized 5 yards for having 12 men on the field.

Bowles called it a “substitution error,” even though Brate was supposed to come out of the game and the Bucs had 11 players set when Brady took the center snap.

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