Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari and New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis suffered concussions during last week's Wild Card games and subsequently violated the league's concussion protocol, according to the Associated Press.
According to the NFL's protocol, concussed players are supposed to be taken to the locker room.
Instead, according to the NFL's head, neck and spine committee chairmen, Dr. Hunt Batjer and Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, one of the players re-entered the game (Bakhtiari) and the other stayed on the sidelines (Lewis). Lewis did not return to the game after he was injured but was seen going to the locker room.
"On two occasions last weekend, and contrary to the advice of the team medical staffs, players who had been diagnosed with a concussion and therefore declared ineligible for play nonetheless refused to leave the sidelines as required by league concussion protocols," the letter said. "In one case, the player went back onto the field for one play before being removed from the game.
"We emphasize that we find no fault in how the team medical staffs conducted themselves last weekend. If a player refuses to follow your advice and leave the sidelines after being diagnosed with a concussion, we recommend that the head athletic trainer seek assistance from the player's position coach (or another member of the coaching staff) or from another team official to remove the player from the sidelines as soon as possible."
Lewis is expected to play this weekend in Saturday's NFC Divisional game against the Seattle Seahawks.