The Seattle Seahawks’ lightning-fast treatment of quarterback Russell Wilson on Thursday night violated the NFL’s concussion protocol, ESPN reports.
Wilson, who spent a few moments in the sideline tent, did not leave the field and was not cleared by a team doctor and an independent physician, as the rules require. After a third-quarter hit to the chin by Arizona linebacker Karlos Dansby, referee Walt Anderson sent Wilson off to be tested. The telecast showed Wilson running off the field and sitting down to have the tent erected over him. However, he jumped up before medical personnel arrived and was on the field after being replaced by Austin Davis for one play.
He was on the field for two plays before the Seahawks punted and, with Arizona’s offense on the field, he entered the tent for a longer time. He returned to the field when the Seahawks got the ball back. The league’s policy requires players to be cleared by a team physician and an independent neurological consultant before returning to practice or play.
The NFL concussion policy states that a player believed to have concussion symptoms cannot return to “practice or play” unless a team physician and an independent neurological consultant clear him. The team’s handling of the situation is being jointly reviewed by the league and the NFL Players Association with a final determination in a few weeks. The Seahawks can be fined up to $150,000.
Wilson, for what it’s worth, said he was fine.
“Well I got smacked in the jaw pretty good there. I wasn’t concussed or anything like that. I felt completely clear. I was just trying to feel my jaw, I was like, ‘Aw man, it’s stuck.’ I think I was laying on the ground for a second just trying to feel my jaw and I think Walt thought maybe I was a little injured or something like that,” Wilson told reporters after the game. “I told him I was good, I was good and he said you got to come off. I think Walt did a great job, first of all. He made the smartest decision. I was fine though. A hundred percent fine. And then I finally went over through the whole concussion stuff. We went through every question you can imagine. I answered even some more for them just so they knew I was good and then went back in there.”
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