Brain trauma has become a serious issue for the NFL.
The Will Smith movie “Concussion” detailed the league’s poor handling of the CTE phenomena.
After what happened this past week, the NFL could find themselves in really hot water.
The NFL has put into place concussion protocols to determine whether or not a player is fit to return to the field.
Tom Savage of the Houston Texans took a brutal hit but was allowed to return to the game after suffering what clearly looked like brain trauma.
From The Washington Post:
The NFL and the NFL Players Association said Monday they are investigating the incident Sunday in which Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage was allowed to re-enter a game after absorbing a hit that left him on the turf with his hands twitching.
The league and NFLPA have a policy by which they jointly investigate any potential violations of the sport’s concussion protocols and determine whether they believe a violation occurred. The NFL can impose discipline for any violations, if the league believes that is warranted.
“We have initiated a joint investigation along with the NFLPA on this incident,” Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications and public affairs, said in a conference call with reporters. “Together we’ll conduct a thorough review of the incident focused on whether the protocol was properly followed. We’re also continuing looking at the protocol to look for ways to improve and strengthen it. Any information developed in this investigation or in any review of the game and protocol that can strengthen the protocol will be enacted on an expeditious basis in coordination with the NFLPA.”
The union announced earlier Monday that it was looking into the matter.
“We are initiating a full review of the Tom Savage concussion from yesterday’s game,” George Atallah, the union’s assistant executive director of external affairs, said on Twitter.
During a loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Savage was hit by the Niners’ Elvis Dumervil as he threw a pass. Savage’s hands were seen shaking as he was on the ground. He was sent to the sideline and was examined in the medical tent there, reportedly for about three minutes. According to the Texans, Savage was cleared by the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant to re-enter the game. He played one more series before being taken to the locker room, and later was ruled out of the game with a concussion.
Chris Nowinski, the founding CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, wrote Sunday on Twitter that he was “disgusted” with the Texans for allowing Savage to return to the game with “horrifying” concussion signs. Nowinski also wrote: “I would not let my worst enemy go through the 2017 NFL sideline concussion protocol.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is in charge of any discipline for violations. A team can be fined as much as $150,000 for a first offense. There is a minimum fine of $100,000 for any subsequent violations, and a minimum fine of $50,000 for a case in which the parties agree that a violation involved circumstances which must be taken into consideration.
Heftier fines and the loss of a draft choice or choices are possible, the league and union said at the time, if it’s determined a team violated the concussion protocols for competitive reasons.
Here’s video of the hit to Savage:
I don’t know how Savage was able to go back into the game after having a seizure. Not a good look for the NFL. https://t.co/H3nRYChX3Z
It doesn’t take an M.D. to determine that Savage suffered a severe head injury, enough to leave him twitching on the ground for several seconds.
The fact that he was allowed to return to the game will only serve as another black mark for the league.