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Texans’ handling of Schaub attracts NFL attention

Houston Texans v Denver Broncos Getty Images

It seemed odd, to say the least, that Texans quarterback Matt Schaub missed only one play after losing a piece of his ear on a hit from Broncos linebacker Joe Mays that knocked Schaub’s helmet off, Rock-Em-Sock-Em-Robots style.

The team defended the decision to let Schaub return, claiming that it followed the league’s concussion protocol.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that the league doesn’t necessarily agree, given that the full testing process takes roughly eight to 10 minutes.

No action will be taken against the Texans, but Mort says the league will be watching.

The league should do more than watch.  The Schaub situation represents further proof of the need for an independent physician on each sideline of every game, who has the duty of administering the concussion test and the ability to override the judgment of doctor’s who are hired and paid by the teams.

Until that loophole is closed, there’s a chance that a player who has suffered a concussion will be sent back onto the field, where he could suffer a second concussion — and a potentially severe outcome.

Now that the officials have returned, the NFLPA should focus on pushing the NFL to make these changes in order to protect a player from his team, his team’s doctor, and from the player himself.

Though the league is trying to ensure that a key player won’t be kept out of an important portion of a game when he doesn’t actually have a concussion, the league’s supposed commitment to safety will be incomplete without an improved (and truly independent) procedure for spotting concussions in the first place.

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34 Responses to “Texans’ handling of Schaub attracts NFL attention”
  1. bucks12965 says: Sep 30, 2012 10:57 AM

    He looked like a lot more than his earlobe was hurting.

    Doesn’t seem smart even by the Texans’ standpoint, considering he’s kind of important to the team’s success.

  2. nfloracle says: Sep 30, 2012 10:57 AM

    Next we’ll have a manicurist on the sidelines who can pull a player if she sees a hangnail.

    Let real men play a real man’s game without bringing in “independent” deciders.

  3. Uncle Leo says: Sep 30, 2012 10:59 AM

    Any time an independent physician clears a player to resume playing, he/she would expose themselves to a lawsuit if the player gets injured again.
    I can’t see any doctor letting anyone back in the game in this litigious society.

  4. buccaboo says: Sep 30, 2012 11:01 AM

    A tell tale sign of a concussion are that the pupils are a different size in each eye. If the pupils were the same size and he wasn’t experiencing any other symptoms they probably felt that he was not concussed. He certainly didn’t have the “look” either. Play on…

  5. superputman says: Sep 30, 2012 11:05 AM

    I think the only issue Shaub seemed to have was his mangled ear. He seemed alert and unharmed otherwise.

  6. timtrice says: Sep 30, 2012 11:06 AM

    With people questioning Schaub’s toughness is it any wonder he demanded to get back in the game? We can’t have it both ways

  7. bobby4413 says: Sep 30, 2012 11:07 AM

    What does a split/torn ear have to do with concussions?

  8. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 30, 2012 11:12 AM

    Fascinating the way ESPN wants to own and operate the NFL. Making much ado about nothing is ESPN’s specialty…
    I fell off my chair laughing last week when Skip Bayless wanted credit for ending the labor rift between the NFL and the unionized referees. Way to go, Skippy!!!
    I’m still laughing.

  9. jimmysee says: Sep 30, 2012 11:13 AM

    Seems to me the fact that Florio Jr. is playing football may be coloring Mike’s opinion here — in a really good way.

    Keep it up!

  10. vinceyoungsucks says: Sep 30, 2012 11:13 AM

    Mike Florio, MD

  11. samoanjungle says: Sep 30, 2012 11:15 AM

    If someone gets knocked out there should be a minimum, say 10 days, before they are allowed to play or practice.
    This should be part of cocollege rules also. Yesterday, even though a Michigan State player was completely out and motionless for a few minutes after a vicious collision, he was back out there several plays later.
    Shameful.

  12. Evol Ocnorb says: Sep 30, 2012 11:18 AM

    Is “The league will be watching” going to be the same league that now requires knee pads, yet doesn’t notice that 70% of the players aren’t wearing them?

    Thought so.

  13. dynast77 says: Sep 30, 2012 11:21 AM

    So you’re suggesting that teams have to take their QB out of the game for an 8-10 minute concussion test every time they get hit? Whoever came up with that plan needs to be tested for 8-10 minutes.

  14. dldavidlong says: Sep 30, 2012 11:22 AM

    how about the league agreeing to get an independent physician when the players start HGH testing.

  15. expertop says: Sep 30, 2012 11:23 AM

    Concussion Protocol = assuming a player doesn’t have one.

    Atlanta Falcons

  16. lapsncaps says: Sep 30, 2012 11:28 AM

    …Paging Colt McCoy

  17. finleye says: Sep 30, 2012 11:28 AM

    The league needs to rethink the way it handles head to head hits in the first place. The fines do not work. My recommendation is to give the refs yellow and red cards just like in soccer. Eject those that recklessly cause concussions.

  18. qb19 says: Sep 30, 2012 11:30 AM

    Yes, by all means, make sure there is an independant gynecologist on each teams sideline.

  19. bennprince says: Sep 30, 2012 11:32 AM

    Texans coaching staff: Matt, part of your ear is gone and we need to check you for a concussion.

    Schaub: Where’s my f’in helmet…. where’s my f’in helmet!!!

  20. flsnupe says: Sep 30, 2012 11:33 AM

    whateva

  21. imjinbrdgr says: Sep 30, 2012 11:35 AM

    Just put up 2 or 3 fingers and ask “how many”. That’s good enough.

  22. steelernationfartsinyourfaceandwinschampionships says: Sep 30, 2012 11:36 AM

    Another classless organization.

  23. orangeclipper says: Sep 30, 2012 11:42 AM

    Agree. This macho BS and pressure to re enter a game, is like a sand lot game.
    Growing up, I broke my collar bone, didn’t know it at the time and was out for 6 weeks.

  24. xxwhodatxx says: Sep 30, 2012 11:45 AM

    The NFL front office is a joke. They are so concerned about concussions that they won’t do anything to a team clearly not following protocol. Anyone who watched the game could clearly see that Schaub was more than dazed by the hit but comes back in the same series. If they were serious about it The NFL would hit em with a fine or something along those lines.

  25. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Sep 30, 2012 11:48 AM

    The problem with the NFLPA asking for it is the fact that they’re the NFLPA. Players want to get back on the field because they get paid that way. So you’re basically saying the players who want to play need to tell the owners that there should be a physician on the sidelines that will have the ability to override the teams and not let them play…

  26. finleye says: Sep 30, 2012 12:01 PM

    Fines don’t do a thing besides severely penalize those with minimum contracts.

  27. Stiller43 says: Sep 30, 2012 12:08 PM

    Maybe the protocol dictates that if the player takes a hit to the head, he’ll be assessed…however schaub was not hit in the head, so the protocal was therefore followed but they didnt have to do any testing

  28. tdk24 says: Sep 30, 2012 12:50 PM

    If you’re going to be a p*ssy about a full contact professional sport, you don’t deserve to make that much coin.

  29. broncosnative says: Sep 30, 2012 1:13 PM

    Didn’t see any reason why they brought him back ib the game without testing him especially after being hit hard twice.

  30. christopher525 says: Sep 30, 2012 1:24 PM

    I thought he may have been concussed at first, but his reactions didn’t show it. I keep thinking of Stan Humpries, nobody ever looks that bad though.

  31. omegaichiban says: Sep 30, 2012 1:33 PM

    He didn’t appear concussed, of course he was writhing and rolling in pain, I’ve never lost an ear bit, but i assume it hurts like a mofo…

  32. dryzzt23 says: Sep 30, 2012 1:37 PM

    Ok so what happens when these “independent physicians” form a union and decide to go on strike? It could and will happen, and when it does NFL games cannot go on. Why? Because players will insist that they’re okay to return after a concussion, and then if they suffer further injury, that same player will sue the NFL, with the sports media and NFLPA backing them of course.

    Let them play and if they get hurt, it’s their own damn fault and the NFL owners shouldn’t have to pay for it.

  33. Evol Ocnorb says: Sep 30, 2012 1:37 PM

    It is smoke and mirrors.

    To seem human, they have to “talk” about it.

    The game makes insane money/profit because it is violent and competitive.

    Players choose to make millions of dollars and be momentary hero’s in return.

    Treat them after the game, care for them when their career is over. Leave the game alone.

  34. 2ndaryinsanity says: Sep 30, 2012 1:42 PM

    @steeler fart….you really wanna go there? Your organization’s favorite phrase is “concussion-like symptoms.” None of our players have been accused of rape once,much less twice. We don’t have players who repeatedly get fined for illegal hits and then whine about how Goodell doesn’t like them.
    Before you call other teams classless you should remove your rose colored glasses and take an honest look at your own team.

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