As anyone who frequents this site on a semi-regular basis knows, we firmly believe that the NFL needs to dramatically improve the procedures for determining whether a player has suffered a concussion or, as the case may be, concussion-like symptoms.
I was disappointed to hear Jason La Canfora of the league-owned TV channel predict that the inexplicable ability of Browns quarterback Colt McCoy to re-enter Thursday night’s game two plays after being blown up by Steelers linebacker James Harrison won’t be a “watershed” moment for the league when it comes to concussions. Roughly an hour later, I was encouraged to hear Chris Mortensen of ESPN predict that the McCoy case could be the catalyst for the league finally deciding to require the presence of independent neurologists at games.
Although Browns coach Pat Shurmur has insisted that the appropriate tests were given to McCoy before he was cleared to return (even though the Browns declined to identify for us the tests that were administered), Mort reports that the Browns did not conduct the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (also known as “SCAT-2″) before clearing McCoy to return.
That’s a major problem.
And so, while we’re told that the league office accepts the Browns’ explanation that McCoy was showing no symptoms of a concussion during the game, Mort said that the NFLPA is describing the situation as a “blatant system failure” by the Browns.
In other words, this one isn’t going away any time soon.
Finally, to those who keep pointing out that the Browns properly used the concussion protocol to remove two other players from Thursday night’s game, a batting average of .667 isn’t acceptable when it comes to ensuring that players who have suffered concussions are protected against suffering a second one in the same game.