The ultimate test of the league’s procedures for spotting concussions is that they don’t work.
Case in point: Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn suffered a concussion when he was struck by a knee in the helmet during the first quarter of a game against the Raiders on October 28. He stayed in the game.
According to the Associated Press, Quinn told reporters he had problems with his vision after the incident, but he stayed in the game — even though he put on the wrong helmet while on the sidelines.
Later in the quarter, Quinn was sacked. Quinn explained that he had “tunnel vision,” and he was unable to see the Raiders’ defensive backs when he threw an interception.
Quinn admitted that he wanted to keep playing. “That’s why I tried to stay in the game, because it was the first opportunity for me in a while,” Quinn said. “I tried to play through it, and that’s my fault for not being smart about it.”
That’s why the league needs to keep working on improving the methods for spotting concussions; players typically don’t want their concussions to be spotted.
In Quinn’s case, he wasn’t even checked for a concussion despite taking a knee to the head and later putting on the wrong helmet. Whatever the league does in these situations, it needs to do enough so that players like Quinn won’t slip through the cracks and end up back on the field.