As the NFL and the NFLPA sort out the events culminating in Browns quarterback Colt McCoy returning to a game only two plays after suffering a concussion, multiple members of the Browns believe that, in the future, the best way to prevent a repeat of the incident would be to have an independent neurologist present and available on the sidelines during games.
Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, also a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee, has said that he intends to ask the union to push for the presence of an independent neurologist. Other members of the team agrees.
“I think it would help,” left tackle Joe Thomas said Monday, according to Scott Petrak of the Chronicle-Telegram. “If you give an independent neurologist just one thing to look for on both sides, then he can just focus on exactly that.
“We’ve got enough other people that check jerseys and watch for your socks to be pulled up and everything else. Why don’t you have somebody that’s watching for concussions? They’re making the refs try to look for it, too. Well, they’ve got enough things to worry about just like the coaches. The trainers, they’re watching everybody, they’re watching for everything, so I think it would be a good idea.”
Tight end Evan Moore agreed. “We need to find a way to standardize everything and make it so there is no gray area, and there’s no question that this has revealed that the system might need to change a little bit — not with the Browns but with the entire league,” Moore said. “We’ve got to protect players, no question about it.”
No player has criticized the Browns for the manner in which McCoy’s case was handled. (McCoy’s father has.) But the Browns remain tight lipped as to the question of whether the SCAT-2 protocol was administered to McCoy. Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported Sunday that it wasn’t, the Browns declined to respond to Mort’s report when contacted by PFT on Sunday, and coach Pat Shurmur declined to specify the tests used to clear McCoy on Monday.