How new concussion protocol affected NFL Week 5


Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

That we had two events in Sunday’s NFL games—a player being removed because an injury spotter thought he saw him wobbly/shaky after a hit, and a hugely ticky-tack roughing-the-passer call—that really weren’t connected but seem connected by the jittery approach to concussions and player safety that has exploded in the last two weeks.

Could the spotter and the ref who made the phantom roughing call both have been erring on the side of extreme caution? That’s sure how it looked to me.

“I thought of it too,” former NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino said Sunday night. “Are we being overly sensitive because of the Tua Tagovailoa situation?”

The line of the night came from a longtime NFL executive. “What’s that thing you guys in the media do every week after the games?” he said. “Overreaction Monday? As a league, I think today was Overreaction Sunday.”

I still don’t know the real story of Miami quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s removal from the Dolphins’ game at the Jets after one offensive snap. In the irony of ironies, Bridgewater, Tagovailoa’s backup, was tackled hard on Miami’s first play and left the game for the locker room. He never returned. We were told the injury spotter in the press box saw in Bridgewater some ataxia; the QB was somehow unstable, per the spotter. In accord with the 20-hour-old NFL rule about motor instability—the rule that came into effect at 5 p.m. ET Saturday—Bridgewater was ruled out for the game. Maybe Bridgewater did stumble, but we never saw it. The Dolphins never saw it. CBS replays never showed it. ESPN reported he passed all concussion tests, but it didn’t matter. Bridgewater, after one snap, was finished.

And then, with three minutes left in a 21-15 game in Tampa, on a simple sack by Atlanta’s Grady Jarrett of Tom Brady, referee Jerome Boger called roughing on Jarrett. The video of Atlanta coach Arthur Smith was perfect—eyes wide open in horror, mouth agape, hands to his head. All I could think was, The league is headed for flag football if that’s a penalty. “If you can’t tackle the quarterback,” Tony Dungy said on NBC Sunday night, “it’s going to be impossible to play defense.”

Another former official told me Sunday night: “Officials aren’t immune from what’s going on in public, and of course they’re following the Tua story. But I can’t imagine making a call, or not making one, because of a situation like [the Tagovailoa story] hanging over the game.”

The roughing call was stunning because Boger’s a good official, and because officials are told to have situational awareness. Don’t decide the game on a ticky-tack call. The Tagovailoa mistake—allowing him back in a game after he struggled to stand twice and had to be helped off the field—shouldn’t be over-corrected by either of the calls that happened Sunday. If Bridgewater really was woozy, then let’s see some evidence from the spotter or from a CBS replay. The NFL has to be transparent here. And we need to hear from the league on the Boger call, because it was huge in the Falcons losing a game that could have given them first place in the NFC South.

Saturday’s agreement by the league and union making it law that players will be removed from games if they demonstrate wooziness or unsteadiness is a positive step. It should be applauded. But there’s a physicality to the game that must be allowed to happen. You can’t officiate scared, or make rulings from on high based on something you might have seen. Sunday was a weird day. The league can’t afford many more of them.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

19. Kyler Murray (AZ)

18. Derek Carr (NO)

17. Jared Goff (DET)

16. Ryan Tannehill (TEN)

15. Geno Smith (SEA)

14. Russell Wilson (DEN)

13. Dak Prescott (DAL)

12. Kirk Cousins (MIN)

11. Daniel Jones (NYG)

10. Matthew Stafford (LAR)

9. Deshaun Watson (CLE)

8. Aaron Rodgers (NYJ)

7. Jalen Hurts (PHI)

6. Trevor Lawrence (JAX)

5. Lamar Jackson (BAL)

4. Justin Herbert (LAC)

3. Josh Allen (BUF)

2. Joe Burrow (CLE)

1. Patrick Mahomes (KC)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!