In theory, NFL players are supposed to be removed from the field immediately if they suffer a concussion. In practice, they often keep playing.
That was the case with Giants running back Peyton Hillis, who was placed on injured reserve today after suffering a concussion last week against the Seahawks. Shortly after it became official that his season ended, Hillis told Josina Anderson of ESPN how the concussion happened.
“It was a catch over the middle. Some guys team-tackled me and my head hit the back of the turf. It was just one of those deals,” Hillis said.
As noted by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, the play Hillis is describing — the play on which he suffered the concussion that should have resulted in him being immediately removed from the game — was not Hillis’s last play of the game. Hillis returned to the game and made a tackle on special teams before he was taken out of the game.
Hillis was one of two Giants who played with a concussion on Sunday. Giants linebacker Jacquian Williams played three quarters after suffering a concussion, demonstrating that no matter what rules the league passes about keeping concussed players off the field, some players will slip through the cracks and keep playing, at an increased risk of brain damage.