The reluctance of the Melbourne Storm to replace a staggering Ryan Hoffman has highlighted the difficulties in enforcing the NRL’s new guidelines regarding concussed players. NRL officials will seek a formal explanation from the club after Hoffman was allowed to continue playing after appearing to be concussed in the early stages of Saturday’s game at AAMI Park. Under the guidelines, any player who shows signs of concussion must be taken by the trainer to the club’s medical officer for assessment. The adherence by clubs toward the new guidelines, introduced this year, was always going to be tested under the microscope of finals football. In the high-pressure atmosphere of September, momentum is everything. A player being forced to leave the field to be assessed could prove crucial, and that’s not to mention the use of a valuable interchange. Hypothetically, if Ben Barba or Jonathan Thurston was seeing stars with ten minutes remaining in the grand final – would the trainers be instructed to remove him from the field or would he be given the minute and a half Hoffman was afforded to collect himself and carry on? The coaches would never put their player’s safety in jeopardy for a result, but… Read full this story
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