Other Browns echo Fujita’s call for independent neurologist at games

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As the NFL and the NFLPA sort out the events culminating in Browns quarterback Colt McCoy returning to a game only two plays after suffering a concussion, multiple members of the Browns believe that, in the future, the best way to prevent a repeat of the incident would be to have an independent neurologist present and available on the sidelines during games.

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, also a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee, has said that he intends to ask the union to push for the presence of an independent neurologist.  Other members of the team agrees.

I think it would help,” left tackle Joe Thomas said Monday, according to Scott Petrak of the Chronicle-Telegram.  “If you give an independent neurologist just one thing to look for on both sides, then he can just focus on exactly that.

“We’ve got enough other people that check jerseys and watch for your socks to be pulled up and everything else.  Why don’t you have somebody that’s watching for concussions?  They’re making the refs try to look for it, too.  Well, they’ve got enough things to worry about just like the coaches.  The trainers, they’re watching everybody, they’re watching for everything, so I think it would be a good idea.”

Tight end Evan Moore agreed.  “We need to find a way to standardize everything and make it so there is no gray area, and there’s no question that this has revealed that the system might need to change a little bit — not with the Browns but with the entire league,” Moore said. “We’ve got to protect players, no question about it.”

No player has criticized the Browns for the manner in which McCoy’s case was handled.  (McCoy’s father has.)  But the Browns remain tight lipped as to the question of whether the SCAT-2 protocol was administered to McCoy.  Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported Sunday that it wasn’t, the Browns declined to respond to Mort’s report when contacted by PFT on Sunday, and coach Pat Shurmur declined to specify the tests used to clear McCoy on Monday.

21 responses to “Other Browns echo Fujita’s call for independent neurologist at games

  1. Oh but I thought the NFL had already put in place strict protocols for dealing with concussionlike symptoms. Isn’t that what Goodell has told everyone … including Congress? They wanted to hold hearings on head injuries and he assured them the NFL had it covered. Wasn’t that true? How convenient that right in the middle of all this press about the Browns failure to follow any protocol, he suspends James Harrison. Well … that’s one way to deflect attention from the real issue, isn’t it?

    Goodell doesn’t care about the health and safety of players. If he did, it would long ago have been mandatory for neurologists to be on the sidelines. The Steelers had a neurologist on the sidelines long before Goodell ever mentioned it. His only concern is warding off bad press and Congressional intervention by any means necessary and keeping the owners from having to shell out anymore $$$$.

  2. And I’m calling for more security at coed parties with Roethlisberger. And they are not there to watch the bathroom door for him, they are there to protect the coeds.

  3. @drgfri …

    Wow, that was a mature football response. I’m impressed. Spend a lot of time studying the game to come up with that? Enjoying tonight’s kegger at the frat party? I’d worry about who’s protecting the coeds with you, but I’m sure there aren’t any.

  4. I agree that independent neurologists on the sidelines would probably prevent the type of abuse of Colt McCoy which occurred after he was whacked. But prevention should still rule the day. Give serious suspensions to offenders such as Harrison and hefty fines to their teams and this would decrease rapidly.

  5. Wow, you can almost taste the hot bitter tears of anger in that apologist’s post.

    Anyway, if you’re adding a neurologist, how about a replay official in a booth so we don’t have to sit around waiting for the ref to come over to the sideline and use the replay machine? I bet they watch Youtube vids half the time they’re in there.

  6. Hey drgfri,

    On behalf of Steeler Nation, I’m sorry:

    1.) That we’re on your mind so much that you feel the need to make a 2 year old Ben joke on an article concerning concussions.

    2.) That our organization is undoubtedly 10 times more legendary and respected than yours (whoever you root for).

    3.) That we can’t fit all of our rings on one hand.

    Take care bro… It’s okay.

  7. Just throw the low IQ monsters like Harrison out of the league. He spears a guy in the face with the crown of his helmet and tells everyone he thinks he’s done nothing wrong…”I’m not gonna change the way I play”. He’s going to kill someone. Crown of the helmet to the runner’s face. A little lower and to the left and he collapses McCoy’s throat. Yeah – tough…like a criminal.

    I grew up watching football with the likes of Ray Nitschke, Dick Butkus and Mike Curtis. I love tough football. Harrison is bad for the sport.

  8. Be careful what you wish for. You get a single neurologist that has to cover both sidelines, or even one for each sideline, what would be the protocol for people being allowed to return to the game? More importantly what would be the protocol for people not being allowed to return?

    You open up this can of worms and until any player that is slow getting up (they were involved in a collision right) must be completely cleared of having a concussion? That means if the neurologist is checking out one player, the others must wait until he is available where they can be checked out. What if he makes a bad call. His medical license on the line. I’m sure that will NOT be a factor though. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. And since symptoms of concussions can take several hours to become apparant, it can’t be proven the players do NOT have a concussion.

    I hate getting lawyers involved in anything. They take what they claim on the surface is a good idea and make a fudged up soup sandwich out of it. The rules that are in place now should have prevented Colt McCoy from returning. You can make up all the safety rules you want, bring in any type of doctor you want, but if the players lie about how they feel, it won’t make a difference.

    I would imagine it’s hard to defend an uncooperative client as a lawyer. Bet it’s even more difficult to treat an uncooperating patient.

    Imagine this scenario after neurologists are required… Think of your teams best players sitting on the sidelines the majority or remainder of the game because it cannot be 100% determined he doesn’t have a concussion. Have a seat Brady, you too Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. In another game Mike Vick, Shady McCoy, Trent Cole, Asante Samuel, and Brent Celek make an early exit today. The following day none have concussions. But look at what a great job we’re doing with safety. Sorry about your teams playoff hopes. We’re also sorry you guys ran out of RB’s and OL but thats just the nature of todays game.

  9. FIX THE HELMETS….aaaaahhhhhhh

    If today’s football players used the helmet Willie Lanier began using after he suffered a near career ending concussion, there would be far fewer concussions today….

    …the year was 1967…and from that moment, the NFL and their owners knew there was a better helmet design to protect their players…and they did nothing to promote the use of helmets with padding added to the outside.

    The NFL is in bed with Riddell, the helmet making company that pays the NFL a sponsorship fee for the right to declare “Riddell is the official helmet of the NFL”….

    …Riddell does not own the patent rights to helmets that feature padding added to the outside of helmets.

    For Goodell and the NFL owners, it’s about the money and protecting helmet maker Riddell…not about protecting the NFLs players.

    …when they say it’s not about the money…it’s about the money.

  10. If every player that returned to the sidelines glassy-eyed had to be sat down for the rest of the game, then teams would not be able to finish a game with a 53 man roster.

  11. Another point to make against having an independent neurologist… They don’t know the players and how they normally act. Whereas team doctors and trainers are around the players for extended periods of time.

    Also the existing protocols in place should have prevented McCoy from returning to the game.

  12. Look at replays of the hit by Harrison and you’ll see McCoy watching the flight of the ball instead of moving his head to avoid taking the hit head on. Good NFL players do this (Jim Brown always did)/ Fighters are taught to do this.

    Colt McCoy and his father have to realize that the NFL isn’t high school football where a coach can complain to another coach and the other coach intervenes with his player. And a professional coach isn’t Mack Brown that the father can call to pester about his kid.

    Colt McCoy is a nice kid. I wish him well. Unfortunately for Browns fans, he is a Charlie Frye clone. Colt needs to go back to Texas and coach high school kids with his father.

    The concussion issue is not a laughing matter. Surprise of surprises that the players and owners were out for months talking about money, and never resolved the health of the players. Well – GET IT DONE!

  13. While you call Harrison an idiot, just remember a few weeks ago Ray Lewis did the SAME EXACT thing to Hines Ward. Hit him helmet-to-helmet and knocked Ward out of the game with a concussion. No flag and no uproar. Some of you say any player who hits with his helmet should be suspended, but you don’t really mean that. Repeat offender or not, ALL players should be punished.

  14. Does it really take a full-fledged neurologist to determine if a player had a concussion? I am sure that with training a lesser medical person could be taught how to identify concussions and, most importantly, how to rule out a concussion. Teams provide this concussion specialist for each sideline. That person runs out on the field with each injury, gives a quick rule-out-concussion test to the injured player. If the rule-out-concussion test is negative, player can play barring other injury. If the test is undetermined, then the player goes to the locker room for a more exhaustive test. Players without a concussion may miss one to a few plays. Players with a concussion are immediately taken to the hospital for treatment. AND most important, it is not that expensive since the concussion specialist is not even a doctor.

  15. macbull…concussions happen when the brain impacts the inside of the skull. No amount of padding, or any helmet design will prevent that.

  16. Unless you’ve had a concussion, you probably have very little room to talk about concussions.

    A concussion is injury to the brain, for which the diagnosis and treament of which is the specialized job for a neurologist. Just as people wouldn’t go to a doctor who specializes in the eye’s retina to treat a splinter in the eye’s cornea, a ‘lesser medically-trained’ person wouldn’t necessarily know what the possible signs and clues are for a concussion.

    I had a concussion (from an auto accident) several decades ago. A neurologist cleared me the night of the accident, but two weeks later, I was diagnosed with a concussion that gradually healed over the next few weeks. Twelve days of a continuous, pounding headache (starting five days after the accident) is not fun for most people.

    When I was growing up, I fell on the school playground, suffering a cracked bone in the arm. X-rays taken that day didn’t show anything, but a week later, new x-rays (because I was still suffering intense pain) showed the crack. It took 10 additional weeks for that cracked bone to heal enough for the cast to be taken off.

    Sometimes medical problems don’t show up immediately, but they usually are accompanied by signs that there is a problem. And those best trained to treat the problem are those who have taken the years of additional training to spot the symptoms indicating the problem.

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