Last night, Browns quarterback Colt McCoy took the crown of James Harrison’s helmet to the face. And yet McCoy was back in the game two plays later.
After the game, both McCoy and coach Pat Shurmur said McCoy was fine. Now, both McCoy’s father and Shurmur are singing a different tune.
Via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Shurmur said Friday that McCoy has the symptoms of a concussion (not to be confused with “concussion-like symptoms”) and “we’re proceeding” as though it’s a concussion.
Fine, but why was McCoy allowed to return to the game?
Shurmur said the symptoms first arose after the game, and that if McCoy had shown symptoms of a concussion after absorbing the hit, he wouldn’t have been allowed to return to the game.
It’s easy to say those things now, but the fact that McCoy apparently has a concussion serves only to underscore the failure of the team or the medical staff to err on the side of caution after seeing McCoy get blown up by James Harrison, and it makes it even more important that the league fully investigate what happened and institute procedures aimed at keeping a guy from being put back into a game until a concussion can be clearly ruled out.
Regardless of whether the Browns knew McCoy had a concussion until after the game, the fact remains that he played moments after suffering a concussion, which put him at risk for a potentially serious injury. Regardless of the specific procedures that the league adopts, something must be done to prevent that from happening.