Skip to content

Westbrook was knocked out

Eagles running back Brian Westbrook left Monday night’s game with a concussion, after the knee of Redskins linebacker London Fletcher struck Westbrook in the helmet.  

As it turns out, Westbrook was knocked out.
Eagles coach Andy Reid confirmed Tuesday, during his weekly show on WIP radio in Philly, that Westbrook lost consciousness as a result of the hit.  Reid also said that Westbrook had no memory of the incident.
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer, these facts indicate that Westbrook suffered a severe concussion.
Reid nevertheless said that he’s “counting on” Westbrook playing against the Giants on Sunday.
And we’re “counting on” the Eagles’ doctors telling Reid to butt the hell out if the Eagles’ doctors believe that Westbrook shouldn’t be playing football only six days after being knocked out.
Permalink 62 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Injuries, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
62 Responses to “Westbrook was knocked out”
  1. TheDPR says: Oct 27, 2009 9:26 PM

    No way he should be allowed to play next weekend. He got jacked up bad. I’m thinking he’s out at least two games.

  2. SlimPickens says: Oct 27, 2009 9:29 PM

    Reid needs to get his fat ass knocked out and see if he wants more of the same to following week.
    NFL should mandate a ‘minimum’ of 2 weeks OUT when you have to be taking off the field with a concussion.

  3. red13 says: Oct 27, 2009 9:34 PM

    No crap, his legs didn’t move for about 5-10 minutes and when he got up, he looked at his brother like he was an alien – it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out he was down for the count for a while.

  4. leatherneck says: Oct 27, 2009 9:38 PM

    I think this could end Westbrook’s season or career. I said the same thing on last night’s thread when I correctly guessed he had been knocked out.
    Reports said Westbrook wasn’t moving for several minutes. I assume that’s how long his period of unconsciousness lasted.
    Even if he lost consciousness for a shorter period of time, he needs to take several weeks off. No practice or anything that could possibly result in hitting his head.
    Brain injury is deadly and debilitating.

  5. Eaglemania says: Oct 27, 2009 9:42 PM

    Westbrook has a lot of respect around the league and most important in the locker room, he doesn’t have anything to prove and he is a great playmaker that is cut above most rb’s now. It sounds a lot worse than I orginally thought after reading this article. Maybe he should relax for a few weeks

  6. Eaglemania says: Oct 27, 2009 9:43 PM

    Westbrook has a lot of respect around the league and most important in the locker room, he doesn’t have anything to prove and he is a great playmaker that is cut above most rb’s now. It sounds a lot worse than I orginally thought after reading this article. Maybe he should relax for a few weeks

  7. bearsrule says: Oct 27, 2009 10:04 PM

    What’s the problem, Mike ? Haven’t you heard ? The NFL has studied up on it, and they say all this talk about concussions isn’t true. They’ve even got some big shot doctor that says it too….. Andy Reid is an idiot.

  8. leatherneck says: Oct 27, 2009 10:09 PM

    This might be a question of medical ethics.
    Do the Eagles employ a doctor? If so, will the doctor stand up to the Andy Reid and the narrowminded Eagles coaches?
    Brian Westbrook should not play next week. Period.

  9. birdmancometh says: Oct 27, 2009 10:11 PM

    Wow, you people are making this much worse than it is. Season or Career ending? Are you kidding me? 5-10 minutes unconscious? Not a chance in hell.
    All the teams have great training staffs and doctors. The NFL has become extremely aware of the dangers of brain injuries, so if he’s cleared he’s fine. How they are treating past players that have had brain injuries is another story, but right now they do a great job of being careful.
    Andy wouldn’t have said that if he hadn’t recieved some initial info from doctors that were positive. If there is a chance of reinjury then he should by all means sit out, but the doctors are smarter than “PFT nation.”

  10. filthylucre says: Oct 27, 2009 10:14 PM

    When asked for comment on his availability to play next week against the division rival Giants, Westbrook gawped stupidly, then muttered something that sounded vaguely like “gobble-geeble durpy durrrr…..”

  11. sultanofslot says: Oct 27, 2009 10:21 PM

    As sad as it is, it’s commonplace in the NFL for players to re-enter games after being knocked out. Either way, Westbrook won’t play unless he’s cleared by doctors, obviously. Reid doesn’t force players to play if they can’t go. Florio is trying to start a controversy out of nothing, as usual.

  12. Warpstone says: Oct 27, 2009 10:23 PM

    @birdmancometh You’re kidding right?
    The NFL has recently reacted to damning research indicating the crippling long-term damage caused by repeated concussions with a “even if it’s true, we’re still going to play” attitude.
    There is a clear conflict of interest when team doctors make a ‘call’ on player health in cases where “ready to play” can mean a guy is one bad hit away from becoming “scrambled eggs” (thank you Jason Taylor).

  13. Twiz says: Oct 27, 2009 10:23 PM

    Slim Pickens is absolutely on the right track. There should be a league minimum a player is out for if he is knocked unconscious during a game.
    Birdmancometh, just because a Dr clears a player doesn’t make it right. Every Dr has their own opinion about things. One doc might say yes, another might say no. Doesn’t make either one right or wrong.

  14. red13 says: Oct 27, 2009 10:24 PM

    Thanks, birdmancometh, for a dose of sanity. The docs have the say, not the team or the player. He has to pass a baseline test before they’ll let him near the field again.

  15. drbob1117 says: Oct 27, 2009 10:29 PM

    REID should butt the hell out?? I’ve never seen so many self important members of the media that suddenly think they have medical degrees in my life! The Eagles doctors and the neurology dept at Pitt have spent all day evaluating Westbrook and his test results. They will decide when it’s best for him to play again… If they don’t rule him out, watch all the media nitwits criticize the Birds before Westbrook even plays a down against the Giants.

  16. leatherneck says: Oct 27, 2009 10:30 PM

    For a brain injury patient, playing football is not being careful.

  17. JustinG says: Oct 27, 2009 10:44 PM

    I don’t think he should play this Sunday on short rest if he actually got K.O.’d. I’ve met John Mackey and that man is in *BAD* condition.

  18. Cappa says: Oct 27, 2009 10:45 PM

    He should be out a “minimum” of 2 weeks. If he still had his marbles, he would tell Andy Reid and the Eagles to go screw yourself.

  19. PhillyPhil says: Oct 27, 2009 10:51 PM

    westbrook is done after this year anyway, might as well just run him into the ground so that when the skins sign him next year he has nothing left

  20. oneGIANTloss says: Oct 27, 2009 10:53 PM

    I agree with slim pickens. The NFL always acts so concerned about player safety and the quality of life for it’s former players. If this were so true they should make it at least a 1 or 2 game inactive for players who suffer from a concusion no matter how severe. And nobody is mentioning how football turned into life last night when you saw a concerned little brother donning the enemies jersey hovered over his older brother caring about family and life and didn’t give a shit about football at that point. I thought that was pretty cool to see

  21. lololnpnp says: Oct 27, 2009 10:58 PM

    @birdmancometh: thank you
    Had I known about all the medical degrees held by not only the writer of this story but also the commentors I would have stopped seeing my regular doctor a while back. Thank you for also providing the scientific and medical proof to back up these claims (and no, sensational TV reporting does not count as proof). Should he play or be out for a few weeks? Heck if I know but you won’t find me sounding holier than thou about the NFL policies and ‘shady’ medical staffs for the respective teams. Leave those decisions up to the team doctors and the drama speculation to TMZ.

  22. rotaryfiend says: Oct 27, 2009 11:02 PM

    PFT nation is pretty dumb. Do folks think that Andy would tip that Brian is not to play this early in the week? Let the Giants make their own assumptions and hopefully they spend cycles prepping for the wrong scenario.
    Strategy is not just a game day factor. Do you guys really think he would put anyone on his team in a life threatening scenario? Puh-lease.
    Here’s to a speedy recovery, 36! You have been a pleasure to cheer for.

  23. SmackMyVickUp says: Oct 27, 2009 11:08 PM

    Reid said on Tuesday that Westbrook has not been ruled out for Sunday. An update texted to reporters said that Reid was “counting on that he’ll be there but we’ll see how tests go.” He will go through medical tests before his status for next week is determined.
    Reid says he won’t risk Westbrook’s health at the expense of a game. Plus, the Eagles are used to playing without the injury-prone running back.
    The Eagles (4-2) had only 11 first downs and converted only four of 15 third downs. Vick and the wildcat did almost nothing, and that experiment continues to confound Eagles fans more than opponents.

  24. moosev says: Oct 27, 2009 11:10 PM

    As a diehard Redskin fan I dream at night that Westy would’ve been a Skin. He is all class and a heck of tough football player. He also killed the Skins every time we played him. So with much respect for Westbrook I say the fat bearded butterball turkey that head coaches that disgrace of a football team should stand down and protect his stud.
    Can I get an amen?

  25. NFL Spin Zone says: Oct 27, 2009 11:16 PM

    He needs to sit these next few weeks. It sucks it’s against the division, but they have McCoy now and he should fill in fine for the few weeks.

  26. The Centurion says: Oct 27, 2009 11:16 PM

    I suppose every body is different, Tebow needed nearly two weeks and was still questionable going into the game against LSU. If Im Westbrook I think this through hard because bottom line is were not sure if there are going to be serious long term effects, but you rather take the safe route. Some things are bigger than football and this is one of those things.

  27. Rasputin says: Oct 27, 2009 11:24 PM

    Goodell obviously is aware of the effects of brain injuries.

  28. redmond05 says: Oct 27, 2009 11:31 PM

    Florio, why would he even acknowledge that Westbrook was going to be out on Tuesday? Even if he knew that he was going to be out he can still list him as questionable to keep them in the dark.

  29. leatherneck says: Oct 27, 2009 11:31 PM

    Westbrook was apparently knocked out for several minutes. Any loss of consciousness would indicate a pretty serious concussion. Going under for several minutes is a cause for extreme concern.
    He could have died.

  30. ParkerFly says: Oct 27, 2009 11:35 PM

    If he suffered a severe concussion, in all likelihood he will still be experiencing symptoms of some sort on Sunday. Remember Trent Green’s first serious concussion? He was out for weeks.

  31. meezle says: Oct 27, 2009 11:44 PM

    Stop it,
    It’s not season or career threatening
    Andy Reid stores Brook in bubble wrap, he wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize his health.
    Donovan not so much

  32. Route36West says: Oct 27, 2009 11:45 PM

    Let me say this first I dont want him to play if its going to cause him future problems its only football.
    But the Philly Inq. is full of it. Just b/c someone is knocked out and doesnt remember doesnt mean you have a severe concussion. I have been in fighting my whole life. Boxing and mixed fighting and getting knocked out doesnt mean your concussed. There is a nerve in your jaw and back of your head and if it gets hit it shuts you down. A concussion is when you brain rattles in your head. And some people are more vulenarble to this then others. And once it happens it starts to happen easier. Where westbrook got hit is like an on and off switch. If that area is hit even a lil bit it will knock you out. That is why your not allowed to punch to the back of someones head in boxing and mma.
    Now with saying all that it doesnt mean that he doesnt have a concussion. Im only saying what the philly inq. said is wrong. That those facts do not indicate that Westbrook suffered a severe concussion. The only thing they indicate is that he got hit in a spot on his head that would knock anyone out.
    O ya and also if Westbrook was severely concussed he would have never been able to stand up and walk off the field so easily like he did. I know he had people with there hands on his back but thats just protocol they have to do that with every player they walk off the field. Just look at when they walked Desean to the locker room they did the same thing.

  33. SmackMyVickUp says: Oct 27, 2009 11:48 PM
    The head of the NFL Players Association said Tuesday his union has differences with the NFL over how to address head injuries suffered during pro football games, but they’re not fighting about it.
    One day before a congressional hearing about head injuries in professional football players, union head DeMaurice Smith credited the NFL for doing a “tremendous job” to improve player safety in the past five years.

  34. thehouseofho says: Oct 28, 2009 12:14 AM

    That’s assuming a baseline was even taken. Yes, Andy Reid should butt out when stating a player’s availability due to a concussion. I’ve had four concussions in the past and there are a few of things you need to know about them:
    1 – You will actually feel better for the first few hours before you start feeling worse. It takes time for bruises on your brain to develop.
    2 – Westbrook definitely shouldn’t be performing any physical activity for a couple of days after a concussion so doctors can make an accurate diagnosis and prognosis.
    3 – Once you have one concussion, it’s definitely easier to receive another one.
    After seeing the hit on Westbrook, NO ONE should be saying he’ll be expected to play in a collision sport 6 days after suffering from the injury. Especially a coach who is speaking as a coach and not as a doctor.
    The doctors have not ruled him out, nor have they cleared him. When it comes to brain injuries of any kind, a good doctor will always err on the side of caution.
    IMHO, if Westbrook even experiences one headache or the slightest aversion to light, he should be out two weeks. Concussions are nothing to sneeze at and can cause serious problems later on in life.

  35. east96street says: Oct 28, 2009 12:31 AM

    birdmancometh says: “but the doctors are smarter than “PFT nation.”
    Not when there is a financial conflict of interest. Remember, tobacco companies used to pay doctors to endorse cigarettes. The AMA sided with big tobacco for decades after the negative health effects of tobacco were proven. Today, it’s big pharma companies paying doctors to prescribe medications that aren’t the best and/or the cheapest meds for their patients to be on. If the doc is really enjoying his Eagles paycheck and they want their star RB to play, I’m guessing he will experience a remarkable recovery. After all, 20 years from now, if he can barely speak or move, it won’t be the Eagles problem to care for him. I am baffled as to why this isn’t an issue of concern for the players union. 32 docs who are keenly aware who really pays the bills. It’s not only unethical, it’s potentially deadly. And, no, it’s not just Philly – it’s a league wide problem.

  36. King Kreg says: Oct 28, 2009 12:35 AM

    Best wishes to Westy, and I am sure he will be back when he feels ready….
    Dang, he did cost me my fantasy week though. I was losing by 2 points going into Monday night and I had Westy get knocked out cold by Fletcher after getting me only one….. what luck

  37. Stone says: Oct 28, 2009 12:43 AM

    No shit he got knocked out. Sometimes you’re a real master of stating the obvious, Florio. Westbrook got knocked the F&CK out!

  38. timegambit says: Oct 28, 2009 1:15 AM

    Andy Reid’s the type of guy who probably caught his son with a bag of crack and made him sit down and smoke the whole thing to prove a point.
    This league will be completely different in 5-10 years. Lawsuits a mile long.
    Studies are finding direct long term disabilities connected to concussions. The study is focusing on boxing, but getting ko’ed is getting ko’ed, no matter the sport.
    Helmuts wrapped in bubble wrap by 2015. Look for it!

  39. Marc F says: Oct 28, 2009 1:34 AM

    Season Ending?
    i got one name for ya.
    Steve Young.
    King of Concussions!
    and he makes a hell of a lot better Commentator than Emmit smith or Tiki Barber.. and many more.. i don’t remember either of those fine running backs ever getting knocke dout, so whats their excuse for the stammering and stutering live on the air?
    Westbrook will be good to go on Sunday. he’s a phenominal athlete, and do you think after this many years that Andy Reid or the Eagles would take a chance if the Dr’s and Westbrook didn’t give the OK? if there’s ever been an Eagles Franchise player outside of the QB, it would be Westbrook..

  40. FumbleNuts says: Oct 28, 2009 2:37 AM

    What team doctor would let him play after a ” blender brain” hit like that?
    Westbrook is a warrior with nothing more to prove to ANYONE!

  41. jimacph says: Oct 28, 2009 4:11 AM

    In a civilized game like rugby, being KO’d would get you an immediate 4 week quarantine.
    It is possible that it will be 6 weeks or more before he can run without throbbing headaches, blurred vision, nausea, etc. And that is his brain telling him to stop, not just an owee boo boo to an appendage.
    If Andy Reid actually said that, he should be sent packing.

  42. Mike Quick says: Oct 28, 2009 5:17 AM

    Is everyone really that dense? A little common sense would go a long way. If you watched the play it was obvious he was knocked out. Reid wants the Gnats to prepare for him. Westbrook wont be playing this week. Get your heads out of your asses.

  43. DJ says: Oct 28, 2009 5:30 AM

    I love all the self righteous neurological experts.
    Have you slapdicks ever hear of “strategy”?
    Reid knows already if he’s going to play at all this next week. He’s just not going to make it easy for the Giants and announce on TUESDAY before the first practice of the game week that his best playmaker isn’t going to be available for a crucial divisional game. It was shocking enough to publicly and conclusively declare that Brian had a concussion, given the Gestapo tactics of some clubs in characterizing injuries ( lower body injury, head injury, etc..).
    The fact the Eagles were THAT quick with a diagnosis explains the severity of the injury.
    Couple that with the fact this ball club “babies” its players with injuries (both Andrews, Abiramiri, Westbrook again) makes it all the more ludicrious to expect the team to put him in harm’s way again in the condition he’s in.
    Want proof? They held out a starting player AFTER a doctor definatively stated there was nothing “structurally wrong” with his body.
    And THAT guy doesn’t even handle the football in anyway shape or form!
    Brian is going to be on the shelf until after Veterans Day at the very earliest.
    But Reid isn’t going to make that public. He’ll continue to be coy and announce that Westbrook is a day-to-day-situation-we’ll-see kind of situation every single week and announce him as one of the inactives leading up to game time, especially when his OL is short for “OLE!” and his rushing game can’t move from here to there without his backfield wearing a top hat, cane and black cape.
    This will work….until the losses start to happen and depending on how the season is shaking out…then he’s going to have to figure out something else that doesn’t work.
    But in the midst of three division games, he’s not going to make it easy for his opponent.

  44. Resolution says: Oct 28, 2009 7:20 AM

    rotoryfiend & DJ,
    Using “strategy” is even more obvious than you two think it is. In fact, its so obvious most people don’t bother mentioning it, so stop thinking you’re the only ones who realize it.
    You’re going to sit here and call people names for not mentioning the obvious? Well, you both are self righteous tools.

  45. CtownBleedsGreen says: Oct 28, 2009 7:22 AM

    Other snippets from Reid about the injury other than the firestorm minutae quote posted on PFT: “We just have to make sure the tests come back and he’s OK to play,” the coach said.
    The coach said it was a frightening moment, but he was relieved that his star running back was unconscious rather than paralyzed.
    “That is scary,” Reid said. “I think we all felt that. You don’t want anybody to get hurt, but you’d rather have a knockout than somebody be paralyzed. Actually, by the time he came back [to the sideline] for the second half, he was really coherent and kind of with things. He didn’t remember a thing, but he was with it at that moment.”
    “He’s OK,” Reid said. “He’s going to be OK, so . . . it’s a matter of time now. We’ll see where he’s at as we get closer to the end of the week.”
    Why not include more quotes so that you’re not starting all this empty argument? You’re the Perez Hilton of the football world with shit like this.

  46. red13 says: Oct 28, 2009 8:00 AM

    FYI, every player is now required to take a baseline test before playing, so they can judge any effects of a head injury. They test memory skills, etc. and record the answers, and then ask the same questions after any head injury. The player cannot be released by the docs until that test is passed and the player is back to his baseline level.

  47. clemenza says: Oct 28, 2009 8:25 AM

    i would love to see westbrook play against the giants this week but being knocked out cold like that there is no way in hell he should play this week.i hope he is good to go for the dallas games almost 2 weeks from now

  48. Kevin from Philly says: Oct 28, 2009 8:28 AM

    Funny how the Giants and Cowboys fans are clamoring for a two week hiatus for Westbrook – now, who are the Eagles playing those weeks?
    Of course Reid isn’t ruling him out this week. Hell, if Belichick was the coach, Westbrook wouldn’t even be on the injury report.

  49. Borg30 says: Oct 28, 2009 8:37 AM

    Big Giant fan, but To all you Eagle Fans,
    I hope Brian gets better soon
    He always has been and always will be a Giant Killer.

  50. Bunson says: Oct 28, 2009 9:28 AM

    leatherneck says: October 27, 2009 9:38 PM
    “I think this could end Westbrook’s season or career. I said the same thing on last night’s thread when I correctly guessed he had been knocked out. ”
    Leatherneck is a rocket scientist. You “guessed this correctly last night?” Then you are way behind. I was at the game in DC, and knew even before he got up what happened. They announced it on the TV broadcast. This won’t end his season, nor his career.

  51. VoxVeritas says: Oct 28, 2009 9:40 AM

    re: Steve Young
    “and he makes a hell of a lot better Commentator than Emmit smith or Tiki Barber.. and many more..”
    Sure, if you can get past the stuttering that wasn’t there when he started his NFL career.

  52. VoxVeritas says: Oct 28, 2009 9:42 AM

    “Funny how the Giants and Cowboys fans are clamoring for a two week hiatus for Westbrook”
    Not me. I want him in there because McCheckdown relies on him too much. To the detriment of his team, a lot of the time.

  53. leatherneck says: Oct 28, 2009 10:11 AM

    Steve Young? The guy who was forced to retire early because of concussions?
    Fortunately, he did retire early, and he still has normal brain function.

  54. Kevin from Philly says: Oct 28, 2009 10:30 AM

    You want him there because McNabb relies on him? Of course a QB relies on his best weapons, especially if they’re open and the deep pass is covered well. Your logic is astounding, as usual.
    P.S. How’d you like that “checkdown” to his second option on the 57 yard TD? Dope.

  55. mattitude says: Oct 28, 2009 11:23 AM

    VoxVeritas says:
    October 28, 2009 9:40 AM
    re: Steve Young
    “and he makes a hell of a lot better Commentator than Emmit smith or Tiki Barber.. and many more..”
    Sure, if you can get past the stuttering that wasn’t there when he started his NFL career.
    What you perceive as stuttering is your inability to understand a human being speaking without a Southern twang or a piece of straw in their mouth. That’s ok. You’re from Texas, you’re not expected to understand a lot of things.

  56. rotaryfiend says: Oct 28, 2009 11:29 AM

    @Resolution – I was referring to the folks harping on Reid in the comments, and yes…I am pretty righteous…
    Get Better Westy!

  57. typhil21 says: Oct 28, 2009 12:05 PM

    well its his 1st concussion so we will see, he has a baseline test, has been stated on the eagles website, they will go from there, he is likely out this week any1 with a brain knows reid is playing games…however where is any rage over kevin boss getting destroyed in that cards game ( i saw that hit he couldn’t walk straight off the field, head and neck soreness my *ss lol ive had 2 concussions and concussions cause that) and they let him go back in the damn game he looked lost when he went back out there

  58. jreed says: Oct 28, 2009 3:35 PM

    OK stop mixing the truth! This is a direct Quote from Big Red Himself:
    “I know Brian’s going to want to play,” Reid said. “But unless Brian’s tests come back to where they’re in a position where he can play, then we won’t do that. He is making progress. It’s a matter of time. We’ll just see how he does this week. We’ll see what the tests show.”

  59. Opie says: Oct 28, 2009 4:01 PM

    CornFlorio: I know that when I used to have to write people’s direct quotes, if I left anything out before or after the part I was quoting, Ihad to put the (………) in there. You would be wise to do the same. To purposefully leave shit out is why we take issue with your quotes.
    Vox: back to your Mom’s cellar. McCheckdown? Really?!? You might want to look at stats before you ask for Westy to get the ball…….or win a playoff game in the past 12 years………or not yell for your Mommy “clean up in my pants” when you shard in them from watching yet another lost season from your ‘boys!
    AR won’t play someone who is hurt. The doctors won’t clear him if he’s hurt. Money invested or not, it won’t happen.
    Now, if Westy does play……then why can’t Canty take his panties off and come outside for the game?!?

  60. socojava says: Oct 28, 2009 4:12 PM

    From Head Athletic Trainer Rick Burkholder of the Philadelphia Eagles at today’s press conference:
    First of all, I know that there were some articles put out there and certain people that claim they were experts and had some misinformation. In 2001 in Vienna and then follow up in 2004 in Prague and then 2008 in Zurich a group of physicians and clinicians worldwide got together to put to rest some of the myths and some of the different grading systems, return to play, that kind of thing to make it easier for parents, coaches, athletic trainers, therapists physicians to come up with universal treatment plan for concussions. We follow that. We follow their guidelines. Also, I am one of two athletic trainers in the National Football League that sits on the NFL’s committee on concussions. I see it two or three times a year in those meetings and I take that part of my job as one of the highest levels of concern for our players and for me as a clinician. That injury has a lot of focus within the media and within the players union and within the players’ safety group, but it’s a big issue with their livelihood and that’s one of the things that I concern myself with as their healthcare provider. We’ve gone to great lengths to make sure that we know what we’re dealing with. As far as our physicians are concerned, [team internist] Dr. Gary Dorshimer out of Pennsylvania hospital is my go-to guy and if you noticed on Monday night after we determined that he had a concussion, and that he didn’t have a neck injury, I immediately turned the case to Dr. Dorshimer as I walked off the field. Dr. Dorshimer spent time in the locker room evaluating him. He has been on the phone with myself and with Brian the last couple of days. We will evaluate him again tomorrow. He is our guy that does it. Our [orthopedists] have never handled concussions here and that will not be the case as long as I am the athletic trainer here. Dr. Dorshimer is the guy and he is very versed in all the concussion terminology, nomenclature, diagnosis, all of that kind of stuff.
    Some of the basic stuff that I think should be out there that you guys should know about is that concussions come from a direct blow. In Brian’s case it came from a direct blow from a knee to the head, but it could come from a blow to the face, to the neck, to the body, anything that transmits into the brain. In most cases, there is no anatomical disruption. There is nothing to find in their brain that causes this. It’s just a loss of function. There is nothing torn. You don’t see damage on an MRI. You don’t see damage on a CT scan. That’s why often times with these concussions we don’t do testing like that because they don’t mean anything. It is really based on the symptoms. They have rapid onset. As you saw with Brian’s case, he was hit in the back of the head and instantly had symptoms. They are usually short-lived symptoms. A guy sprains his knee, it is four to six weeks of symptoms. These guys that get concussions, it’s short lived. There is usually no structural damage, just a loss of function.
    Originally, a lot of the literature that you guys have seen and a lot of literature that was talked about, it graded concussions first degree, second degree, third degree. At one time there were twenty different standards out there which really confused the athletes, confused the medical community, that kind of thing. When they went to Vienna in 2001, they classified it as simple and complex. They had two classifications. They’ve since even dropped that. That’s what led me up here today, somebody asked Andy, ‘What was the grade of the concussion?’ We don’t know. We don’t know because we don’t grade the concussions until after we’ve run the whole course of how they’ve responded to their symptoms and how quickly they return to normal function. That’s been the recommendation of this committee to make sure that automatically when he is knocked out he’s a grade two, grade three.
    Brian did lose consciousness on the field. We think it was less than a minute. That does not play into the grading. What that does is the loss of consciousness often times gives you an indicator that it’s going to be a little bit longer for him to return from symptoms then a guy who is not knocked unconscious. We don’t use it as a grade, but we use it as an indicator that he may take a little bit longer. That is not always the case either. The ‘loss of consciousness’ thing is just one thing for us. We look at a lot of symptoms and we look at how he responds to those symptoms and I will tell you that immediately once he woke up on the field he knew everything. He knew where he was. He knew his brother was in front of him. He knew Coach Reid was behind me. He knew everything. He has a very short interval between breaking the huddle and the play that he doesn’t remember. That’s called retrograde amnesia. It’s not a big indicator for us when we look at recovery. When we look for amnesia, and you’ll see some of this as you guys research it, the amnesia that we worry about is that he can’t remember things that happened after he was hit. He has none of that. He remembers waking up. He actually remembers that he was dreaming. He remembered a lot of things about the event, but he doesn’t have any time in there where he says, ‘I don’t remember you guys walking me off the field. I don’t remember how I got to the locker room. I don’t remember the second half of the game being out on the field talking to Andy and the team.’ He knew all of that so those are all good indicators for us. We look at his symptoms as he goes along here over the next couple of days. We look obviously at headache, his fatigue factor, how he’s responding in meetings, whether watching film or studying the playbook affects him, whether he’s irritable, whether he’s nervous, whether he appears to be depressed, that kind of thing. I’m talking to Brian all day. Every time that he comes out of a meeting and takes a break, I talk to him. [Eagles assistant athletic trainer] Chris Peduzzi talks to him. Dr. Dorshimer calls me to check on him. We’ve already spoken twice today about it. This is a constant, ongoing thing with him. We’ll look at his symptoms and once his headache clears, because that’s his big symptom because he has a very mild headache, mild to me is okay but he still has a headache. When that clears, the next step is you take him through an exercise program so you get his heart rate up. Does that make his symptoms worse? If it doesn’t make his symptoms worse, then you go to the next step, which is you start to do some football-type drills where you get balance and footwork and change in direction. If that goes well, then you return him to practice. Then, if that goes well you return him to a game. The question has been asked to me, ‘Have you had anyone knocked unconscious here and then play the next week?’ Yes. I’ve had guys not knocked unconscious here and not play the next week because the grading scale to us doesn’t matter. It’s all symptoms and it’s how do they return from their symptoms [and] when they do, can they take the next challenge? Can they take the next challenge? Can they take the next challenge? Where are we game-time wise? And that’s exactly what we’ll do with Brian.
    I’ve had guys here who had very mild concussions that played in a game that we didn’t even know it until after the game. They came to us after the game and said, ‘I got my bell rung.’ We took them through our process. They had symptoms through Thursday, Friday. We didn’t let them exercise. [We] put them on a bike on Friday, they got worse symptoms, we backed them down and they didn’t play Sunday. Every time they get increased symptoms, we back them to their next step and then we move forward. Some guys it takes 10 days, some guys it takes three days. I think we are very up to speed on our assessment. I think we are very up to speed on our treatment, and I think that we have had a very good record here at the Eagles, at least in the 11 years I’ve been here and searching back.
    I think as the education on concussions has increased so has our awareness and it will continue to be that way. I invite the opportunity to be able to speak on the subject, and I spoke at the 2007 conference for the NFL and I think it’s something that our league needs to notice. I think the Commissioner has done a phenomenal job of bringing this to light, and I think our players are protected better now than ever before. One thing that the Concussion Committee and the National Football League has determined is that, for the most part, the physicians for the NFL teams are doing a great job of managing these things on the sideline. I think that Brian’s is just another case of something that we see every year. He just happens to be a star running back here and it was on national TV. He was knocked unconscious clearly on TV. He’ll go through the course as other guys here have gone through and I think he’ll do fine.”

  61. Opie says: Oct 28, 2009 5:02 PM

    socojava: I hope that puts the TMZ style shiznit to rest!

  62. drbob1117 says: Oct 28, 2009 5:11 PM

    @housseofho: I have practiced in a field of medicine for over 23 years in which neuropathy is a big deal, so I know a little about neurology in general. The doctors Westbrook is seeing are the best in the business; they know plenty about neurology in all aspects; the docs at Pitt that are interpreting his tests are some of the top people in the study of concussion injury. Now let’s address your points: 1)As red13 noted above, every player took a baseline test before the season, it’s required by the NFL; also trainer Rick Burkholder, who has won awards for being one of the top trainers in the league said that he was immediately lucid after the injury 2) Burkholder said that since he still has a headache, no physical activity can be undertaken; the neuro convention here is that the headache must go away completely before he graduates to the next stage, he clearly stated that whether that happens tomorrow or 3 weeks from now makes no difference to him; he won’t be clearing him until after he put him through the activity challenge; and then if he gets another headache we go back to square one; this is exactly how you’re supposed to handle it. 3) You are definitely prone to more concussions after your first, but those patients whose docs have followed the protocol have had much more success in keeping symptoms from recurring. I absolutely think that the Eagles staff will err on the side of caution, my objection was to people who made a diagnosis by talking to orthopedic surgeons who never examined Westbrook; or worse, took one line from a book or pamphlet and tried to make a blanket statement about his prognosis. Let the professionals do their jobs, and I’m sure that they will make sure he’s 100% before sending him out there. BTW, the Eagles have never told Burkholder or a doc to clear someone early, no health professional with any ethics would do that, and the Birds don’t ask them to; whether it’s a head injury or anything else.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!