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.