Alex Smith must pass “contact” test


The ability of 49ers quarterback Alex Smith to return to game action on Monday night won’t be the slam dunk that many believed it would be.

Smith received clearance several days ago to return to practice.  Cam Inman of reports that Smith won’t receive clearance to play on Monday night against the Bears until Smith passes a “contact” test.

It’s a procedure that apparently isn’t used for every player returning from a concussion.  Inman explains that 49ers tackle Joe Staley didn’t receive clearance to return from a concussion earlier this season until he passed a “contact” test.  49ers guard Daniel Kilgore simply had to pass a computer-based reaction-time test to get final clearance to play.

And it doesn’t seem to be a rule specific to quarterbacks.  Earlier in the season, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III received clearance to return to practice on a non-contact basis.  He thereafter received clearance to play by staying symptom free after three non-contact practices.

It suggests a lack of consistency in the concussion protocol, placing before some players different hurdles than other players face.  In Smith’s case, the use of a “contact” test could keep him from playing on Monday night, if the “contact” in any way causes him to experience concussion symptoms.

14 responses to “Alex Smith must pass “contact” test

  1. I’ve heard rumors of this “test” being used by SF. It consists of the symptomatic player being headbutted by an asymptomatic player. Never thought it was true, guess it is. What a second rate operation they are.

  2. Posted by Mike Florio
    “It suggests a lack of consistency in the concussion protocol, placing before some players different hurdles than other players face.”

    Each concussion is different I have had two once from a car accident and another back in HS from taking a baseball to the head which also knocked me out cold. The one from the baseball took over two weeks to really be symptom free while the car accident one was gone in a few days. I would believe this holds true with football concussions as well and that each one has to be handled according to the severity of the concussion and thus some players only need to submit to easier test while more sever concussions would have more tests. I guess you could make every player have to have every test but if they Ace the low level tests is it necessary to have them take the high tests which the lower test have already clear them. While a player with a sever concussion may pass the low test but the result indicate he needs more testing to be sure he is no longer concussed.

  3. The 49ers would be foolish to play him and risk the rest of the season, unless they have enough confidence in Colin to play at Smith’s level – which is good enough to compete for the Superbowl.

    Smith will surely have a “contact test” performed on Monday night.

    I think Smith will end up sitting.

  4. Today the Steeler Nation continues their dominance over the Ratbirds. We will again prove who the holy one is.

    They won the last few times, why? Because we let them! They need their confidence built up so beating them today will be even more enjoyable. Wow, we are so gracious.

  5. A good coach does everything he can do to put his BEST QB on the field for a big game. Smith will play
    tonight. Cutler will not play because Lovie didnt do his job and get Cutler to take the test and practice. Lovie is the reason Chicago hasnt won a Superbowl. and he needs to go now.

  6. So everything looks good now, but he has to pass a contact test that will either prove he is ok, or reaggravate the condition. It just seems to me that Smith should sit out a week and rest.

  7. Chi01town,

    “Smith will play tonight.”

    Don’t know what game you’re watching tonight, the Bears and Niners play Monday night. Your team doesn’t do well against teams that actually having a winning record because of your easy schedule. I doubt this game is as close as people think. Go Niners!

  8. I would be interested in hearing what this contact test actually is. It doesn’t seem like a great idea. If you fail, that obviously means you were subjected to contact while still suffering from concussion symptoms, which doesn’t seem like a healthy thing to do to an unhealthy brain.

    I guess subjecting a player to less contact to see if symptoms reappear is better than subjecting them to NFL contact during a game.

    Still seems dangerous though.

  9. Either way I do believe this will be a close game, especially with starting qbs out (or worst case, Chicago’s strating QB out, Alex Smith is as good as most backups in the league). Both defenses are good, i’d give the edge to campbell over kape, plus the home field advantage scale tips slightly for San Fran. end of the day… Bears 17, Niners 9. it does get excited though at the end with the niners driving in hopes of a td with a two point conversion to send this one in overtime..But, just as usual, the bears’ front four pressure gets the qb to throw a pick to tim jennings.

  10. i like kaepernick. he can throw any pass , he can get u first downs and td’s with his arm and speedy feet. he played good last week getting the ball down 10 and making a game out of it. i say start kaepernick. if niners win… give kaepernick the start again. hes the future.

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