Rolando McClain played with a concussion


The NFL has tremendously improved the procedures for dealing with players who have concussions.  But the league has still yet to perfect the process of applying the “concussion” label in the first place.

Case in point:  Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain played with a concussion in Week Two at Miami.

For some reason, no one noticed that anything was wrong with McClain.  “It was something we thought might have been the case after the game,” coach Dennis Allen said, via Jerry McDonald of  “But it didn’t seem like it was a major one. . . .  It’s kind of a precautionary deal that we’re going through the whole process to make sure he’s fine.”

“I’ve been playing for a while and you always take hard hits,” McClain said.  “Obviously the doctors saw something.  There was a time where I thought, ‘I don’t feel like myself.'”

And that’s the time when the player needs to speak up.  That’s precisely what Florio Jr. did 12 days ago, after he got hit in the head by a pulling lineman and immediately knew something wasn’t right.

But while the players need to know when to tap out, the league must look continuously for ways to spot players who may be inclined to not leave the field.  The officials are supposed to be looking for things like this, but the replacements already have their hands full, and then some.  The league also now has a Certified Athletic Trainer in the booth looking for any evidence of anything out of order — and it’s obvious that in McClain’s case the process failed to spot that he needed to be evaluated.

The problem is that McClain was in a precarious position.  If he had suffered another brain injury while playing with the one he already suffered, he could have ended the day with a serious problem.


15 responses to “Rolando McClain played with a concussion

  1. When do we stop placing blame on the coaches, officials, and trainers, and start placing it on the actual guy who is having the symptoms?

    If anyone is at fault, it is 100% on the player. You need to speak up. You cant go playing with concussions and trying to hide things from the team, and then turn around and sue the league for concussions.

    The players absolutely need to step up in this regard. It shouldnt be up to the officials to determine a players health.

  2. Education of the players and personal responsibility for their own well being is the only thing that will work. How is anyone on the sidelines supposed to know Mcclain “didn’t feel like himself?”

  3. As a Browns fan, I am hoping you are going to write 10 more articles about how the Raiders messed up badly because they let this guy play with a concussion. (ahem, Colt McCoy, ahem)

  4. I think this will continue to be an issue until the NFL applies the MLB’s salary rules. If teams couldn’t just cut a player at will voiding his contract and salary, players would probably be more likely to take their health more seriously than their performance or perceived toughness. And let’s all remember that players, even at the professional level, should take their health more seriously than anything else.

  5. @ discosucs2005

    I couldn’t agree more with you. Players salaries in the NFL is not guaranteed and football in my opinion is the most dangerous sport out of the big 3 and the only one which doesn’t guarantee player salaries, and i believe that plays into how some of these player think.

    Also, lets not forget also how football players are treated at times when they pull themselves out of a game due to injury. LT faced backlash, while Phillip Rivers played with an injury after having surgery on his leg. Even though most of us know how stupid it was for Phillip to play that playoff game, everyone treated him like some type of hero. These are the same perception these players face.

    Take yourself out of the game and get treated poorly by fans and the media, or stay in and potentially damage your brain for the future. For someone like myself it won’t be a debate, but for someone whose livelihood depends on the media and the fans, i can see why.

  6. hehateme2 says:
    Sep 20, 2012 8:15 AM
    Dolphins blewout the Raiders 34-14 last year. 35-13 this year. curious….

    It looks more like a trend to me.


    it is a trend… the only game the Raiders have won in Miami in recent memory was Daunte Culpepper’s revenge game…. and that was the only game he could win that year….. None the less, there has to be something done about the Raiders playing the late Monday Night game if they are going to keep insisting on that stupid double header, and then having to fly all the way to the East Coast to play a 1 o’clock game. I’m not saying its an excuse, because there was enough of a stinkfest around to blame everything from players to coaches…. nonetheless, surely they can schedule a closer game for the 2nd week of the season.. or give them a 4 o’clock game, than having them play til 2 o’clock Tuesday Morning and then have to essentially play at 10 AM to them on Sunday morning…..

  7. Really agree about this stupid scheduling. They play a game that ends about 2 a.m. eastern time Tuesday and fly to Miami to play a 10:00 a.m. PST game. Who dreams up this schedule? No west coast team should have to fly east and play at anything except a 4:00 p.m. EST start time.

  8. “That’s precisely what Florio Jr. did 12 days ago, after he got hit in the head by a pulling lineman and immediately knew something wasn’t right.” Are you kidding me? Who cares I came here to read about the Raiders i don’t need your prized possession used as an example to understand what they should do. This site has become a joke, get it together Florio.

  9. he should have spoke for his own health lucky it didn’t get worse, and its gonna be a long season for raiders, i dont see our offensive coordinator lasting either, it looked a lot better last year, well hopefully reggie will get us barkley from USC we need a new qb

  10. There should be a rule, which forces afternoon start times for all west coast travel games, in the east. Idiotic that they’d be playing in the morning. The sun rises and sets wrong over there, anyway.

    Granted. None of that will help the Raiders win a game. But it would be important for all the other western teams.

  11. You know it’s bad when you start feeling sorry for the team you love to hate. C’mon Raiders give me a reason to not like you again!

    RIP AD

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