Concussion doctor rips NFL’s protocol after incident with Colts’ Jacoby Brissett
For the second time in four days, an NFL team is in hot water for the way it handled a concussion. Dr. Chris Nowinski, the CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, took to Twitter on Sunday to rip the Colts for the way they handled an incident with quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
On a third down play during the third quarter of the Colts’ 20-17 loss to the Steelers, Brissett was on the receiving end of a head-to-head shot from Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt. After taking the hit from Tuitt, Brissett immediately reached for the back of his head before eventually being helped to his feet by two teammates.
After watching Brissett walk woozily to the sideline, only to return for the Colts’ next offensive possession, Nowinski ripped the NFL‘s concussion protocol and wrote that Brissett should’ve been permanently pulled from the game.
“NFL concussion protocol is a fraud,” Nowinski wrote. “QB Jacoby Brissett goes back in after showing the clearest concussions signs of the season…. You don’t need a protocol to hold this player out for the game.”
Since the Brissett hit took place on third down, the Colts quarterback didn’t end up missing a play because he went into concussion protocol while Indy’s defense was on the field for the ensuing Steelers’ possession. The Colts released a statement after the game saying that they followed concussion protocol.
According to the team, Brissett was examined by Colts team doctors and the independent neurological consultant who’s on hand for each NFL game. After being cleared by both parties, Brissett was allowed to return to the game.
Of course, Nowinski’s argument from home was that there’s no way Brissett should’ve been cleared to re-enter the game because he was injured on the play, and he may actually have a point because it appears that Brissett did suffer a concussion. After the game, the team announced that Brissett “developed symptoms” for a concussion and that he was immediately placed in protocol.
Due to his newly-diagnosed injury, Brissett wasn’t required to meet with the media after the loss, which left Colts coach Chuck Pagano trying to explain why Brissett was allowed to return to the game.
“Scotty (Tolzien) started warming up as soon as Jacoby came out, because we could have lost him for the entire game,” Pagano said. “So [Brissett] went through the protocol and passed it and got back out there in time to run that series.”
The situation with Brissett came three days after the Seahawks appeared to skirt concussion protocol with Russell Wilson. The NFL is and the Seahawks could be facing a fine of up to $150,000 if the league finds that they violated the NFL’s concussion protocol.
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