During Sunday’s eventual win over the Lions, Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain exited the game. Though it appeared he was being screened for a concussion, the Cowboys eventually said McClain has an illness/dehydration.
After the game, another diagnosis emerged; the Cowboys acknowledged that McClain has “concussion-like symptoms.”
Ah, yes. “Concussion-like symptoms.” Not a concussion.
At one point, it was believed to be a term that possibly would keep a player out of the concussion protocol. However, the league office explained in late 2011 that use of the “C” word triggers extra scrutiny, regardless of whether it’s a concussion or concussion-like symptoms.
“Concussion-like symptoms describe just that — symptoms — that may lead to a diagnosis of a specific injury — concussion,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said at the time. “For purposes of our rules, a player with concussion-like symptoms should be treated as if he has suffered a concussion unless a concussion is specifically ruled out.”
For McClain, the Cowboys resisted using the term “concussion” during the game, even though McClain eventually was ruled out. Assuming he ends up in the concussion protocol, he won’t be able to practice or play until he’s cleared by an independent neurologist.