Officials don’t only take injury timeouts when a player is down on the ground and obviously hurt. The NFL instructs officials to call injury timeouts even if a player is upright and walking back to the huddle, if that player appears to be injured.
That’s the word from NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino, who said in a video distributed to the media that the league office tells officials to call injury timeouts any time they believe a player should be checked by the medical staff.
“If you notice a player that’s in distress, a player that’s injured, or a potential injury . . . we’re telling our game officials to look for this type of reaction from a player and stop the game and get him out of the game,” Blandino said.
Blandino said the officials did a good job of recognizing that Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro looked dazed after a hit on Sunday. The officials called an injury timeout so that Vaccaro could be examined. Vaccaro did, in fact, have a concussion, and he will not play this week.