Colt McCoy may have played with concussion

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Late in Thursday night’s loss to the Steelers, Browns quarterback Colt McCoy received the latest helmet-to-helmet hit from Steelers linebacker James Harrison.

Two plays later, McCoy returned to the game.

After the Steelers escaped with a 14-3 win, McCoy seemed like a guy who had suffered a concussion.  McCoy said he didn’t remember the hit, according to the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.  And Will Burge of ESPN 850 in Cleveland posted on Twitter that the Browns P.R. staff asked reporters to turn off their lights during McCoy’s post-game availability.  Light sensitivity is one of the various . . . wait for it . . . concussion-like symptoms.

So why was McCoy back in the game?  “He was fine to go back in,” coach Pat Shurmur said, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

But who determined McCoy was fine?  And what testing was performed to ensure that he hadn’t suffered a concussion or concussion-like symptoms or a concussion-like concussion? (Those aren’t rhetorical questions; we’re going to ask the Browns for an explanation.)

Two weeks ago, the NFL supposedly beefed up in-game monitoring procedures, instructing the “league observer” who attends every game to be on the lookout for “possible undetected injuries.”  The fact that McCoy absorbed a helmet to the face and ended up flat on his back should have been enough for the league observer to insist that something more be done to ensure that McCoy truly was fine to play.

38 responses to “Colt McCoy may have played with concussion


  2. Hey Mike,

    See the difference between a team sitting out a player, who only had concussion like symptoms, and a team that plays a player without even owning up to he was hit?

  3. Same ol story….Cleveland plays its heart out, McCoy forces a pick, Pittsburgh scores going the other way soon after.

    McCoy just does enough to lose. They will be in the market for a QB following 2012…they’ll need Justin Blackmon or a big time receiver in the draft…

  4. The NFL needs to fine teams that don’t follow league protocol for concussions. What if McCoy had suffered another blow to the head? Then you have Sidney Crosby… All the studies done on concussions show that there is a cumulative effect, and that the time between concussions correlates to the severity.

  5. Seneca Wallace looked better in his 2 plays than McCoy did, especially after the hit. On TV, he looked dazed and slow to react compared to how he was earlier in the game. It’s borderline negligence that they ignored the hit and put him back out there.

  6. Hmmm. Interesting PFT!

    Several times this week you have questioned Steelers when they ACTUALLY kept a non concussed Polomalu out of the game.

    Why no outrage here???

  7. Shouldn’t have been back in there anyway. Wallace made a couple of plays and he could have added another dimension DOWN AT THE FIVE YARD LINE. Dumbash McCoy takes a 10 yard loss on a sack like an idiot when they needed a TD and not a FG there.

    Then makes a blind throw after that. Pathetic.

  8. It’s simple Harrison. DON’T LEAD WITH YOUR HEAD/HELMET. Problem solved. This dirtbag uses his helmet as a weapon over and over again then cries ignorance. It ain’t that hard to understand.

  9. The idea that a concussed McCoy was better than a nonconcussed Wallace was probably not even the biggest coaching gaffe of this game.

  10. I respect the hell out of you because of what you have accomplished with this site but there are two issues that you continue to beat the drum on that are becoming irritating: 1. Overtime rules and 2. Concussions. Guys have been playing with concussions since the beginning of the game and they will always play with concussions. I understand your intentions are good but you aren’t going to change how the game is played by consistently complaining on this site. Guys play with injuries, its the game, its the culture and its not going to change regardless of how many tests you perform on guys.

  11. I diagnosed a concussion from my recliner with beer in hand. Why didn’t the browns? Because if mccoy is their starter, can you imagine how awful the backup must be?

  12. Has anyone here ever had a minor concussion? If your adrenaline is running, you might not even feel anything for a couple hours or so.

    I was in a minor car accident earlier this year. After the accident I got out of the car, checked the damage, got the other person’s insurance and drove home. A couple hours later, I sat on my couch and started to feel really dizzy.

    I don’t think it’s always as clear-cut as “this guy has a concussion, he needs to be evaluated be a doctor.”

    The Browns shouldn’t face any discipline for this.

  13. So why was McCoy back in the game? “He was fine to go back in,” coach Pat Shurmur said, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

    But who determined McCoy was fine?


    Thats an easy one. Look where the game was played. My guess is it was the very “stringent” Steeler doctors.

  14. Shouldn’t have been back in there anyway. Wallace made a couple of plays and he could have added another dimension DOWN AT THE FIVE YARD LINE. Dumbash McCoy takes a 10 yard loss on a sack like an idiot when they needed a TD and not a FG there.

    Then makes a blind throw after that. Pathetic.


    Hey, “dumbash”, the kid was concussed. I was shocked he was even in there. This reminds me earlier this year when you scum Browns fans were ripping on your punter. Then it turned out the guy was kicking with a herniated disk. You people are bottom of the barrel.

  15. I can’t figure out why he came back when he did.

    They were moving the ball, had momentum and in scoring range.

    Why not AT LEAST keep him on the bench until the drive was over?

    I don’t get it.

  16. Observations from a Browns fan:

    1. The Browns clearly rushed McCoy back into the game when he should have been further diagnosed for concussion symptoms. You know somethings wrong when the guy doesn’t remember the hit.

    2. Colt McCoy is NOT the answer at QB for the Browns. I am tired of hearing about the supporting cast. The tell-tale play that stands out in the game is the 10+ yard sack he took on 2nd down late in the 4th Qtr. Even QB’s with good supporting casts occassionally find themselves in that situation, and a GOOD QB would have the sense to throw the ball away. That was inexcusable….never mind the HORRIBLE throw he made on 3rd down.

    3. The Browns must be cursed. It is unbelievable that a team with so many combinations of different coaches/players/gm’s could be so consistent on finding ways to lose football games. We are the NFL equilavent of the Chicago Cubs.

    4. It is crazy to say, but I actually miss Eric Mangini…..yep, it has gotten to that point. At least his teams seemed to be playing for something…this years team is lifeless. I am thoroughly embarrassed to be a Browns fan and the NFL should apologize to fans of the other 31 teams for putting them on at primetime.

  17. Yeah. The kid looked like he didn’t even know his own name when he went back in the game. There’s a difference between toughness and stupidity.

    I thought the whistle had blown the play dead, that’s how bad the endzone pick/pass was. Oh well.

  18. Harrison is a big prick but because the Pittsburg Stealers are in the East where the money is, the league just fines him and looks the other way.
    He will kill someone someday and they will just point to the difficult childhood he had.

  19. cornellsteelers says:
    Dec 9, 2011 8:45 AM
    I’m detecting some hypocrisy-like symptoms here.

    Exactly. I expect to see at least 8-10 preachy stories this week about how the Browns are not following NFL rules and protocol in their handling of a player with a concussion or “concussion-like symptoms”, like you did with the Steelers.
    I expect the fact that the Browns actually put McCoy back in the game while Pitt sat Polamalu out will rarely be mentioned if at all.

  20. The concussion thing was an issue before the new deal was struck. I don’t think anyone in authority actually cares at this point. It’s all just window dressing so we don’t feel bad about watching these men kill themselves by filling their skulls with goo.

  21. I put people to sleep for a living. A few years back I put to sleep one of Auburns biggest, well known receivers ever. I told him I would have to tell my brother I had met him as he is a huge Auburn fan (as you can see I a m not). This guy has debilitating Parkinson symptoms from all of the concussions he had. Incredibly, he looked at me and said,” I don’t even remember playing at Auburn.” Heartbreaking and preventable.

  22. But obviously he’s not as tough as Ben because to be tough you need to roll around on the ground and go to the training room first. Then come back in after halftime. It gets the crowd going and it makes you look tough.

  23. Just based on that 10 and out pattern that Seneca put RIGHT on the numbers…he should have been kept in the game. When was the last time Colt delivered a 10 and out with accuracy like that? Colt McCoy = Brady Quinn both just good enough to make you think they have something.

  24. Well it seems Pittsburgh isn’t the only team that uses the excuse “concussion like symptoms”. And the only reason Harrison will recieve a fine is because of history and Roger Goodell’s bias against him.

  25. I’m digging this whole “-like” method of dismissing reality. Imagine the possibilities:
    * “Sure I’m exhibiting intoxication-like symptoms, but I’m hardly drunk.”
    * “Yes honey, that is a lipstick-like substance all around my mouth; good thing for me it’s not lipstick.”
    * “No dad, this is not an old folks home you’re in, it’s just old folks home-like!”

  26. Say what you want about Harrison’s hit, it did the job.

    No, I’m not talking about a possible concussion. I’m talking about how McCoy stepped off his back foot, and turned away from the pass rush when he threw that game clinching INT with 3 minutes left, rather than step into his throw and take the hit. He didn’t want to get hit again.

  27. Mike,

    I disagree with the previous poster who stated that you are complaining to much about concussions. For anyone that is not familiar with CTE and Boston University’s on going studies of deceased athlete’s brain damage and corresponding effects, it’s worth reading about. Anything that can be done to prevent concussions should be done, and knowing what we know today no team or player should be allowed to return to the field if ANY evidence exists that a concussion may have occurred.

    McCoy going back in the game was horrible judgement. Clearly he was disoriented.

  28. Whether McCoy had a concussion or not, this Browns team played some really horrible football, beginning with McCoy. He’s just awful. And the coaches obviously don’t recognize who their best players are. Chris Obonnaya > Montario Hardesty. Seneca Wallace looked sharp immediately and the coaches decided to allow a concussed McCoy to replace him.

    Stupid stupid stupid.

  29. Fix the helmets and we are not discussing the possibility of a QB playing with a concussion.

    Some NFL players had safer helmets decades ago… Willie Lanier (1967-77), Mark Kelso (86-93) and Steve Wallace (86-97)wore helmets with padding added to the outside to protect themselves from concussions and it worked.

    It is time for the NFL to mandate helmets with padding added to the outside..e.g. the ProCap.

  30. Anyone notice the Browns had several opportunities to win this game and that goal line stand was a thing of beauty even though I never could stand the Browns.

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