Texans coach Bill O’Brien spent a portion of his Monday press conference running through the steps that led to quarterback Tom Savage being cleared to return to Sunday’s loss to the 49ers for a series before he was pulled from the game and placed in the concussion protocol.
Savage took a big hit from Elvis Dumervil in the second quarter of the game and could be seen with his arms in the “fencing response” that sometimes occurs when people suffer concussions when on the ground after the hit. O’Brien said that the medical team told him they would check Savage after that hit and took him to the blue tent on the sideline for a quick evaluation that led to Savage returning to the game.
O’Brien said he couldn’t see the hit or the response from the sideline, but assumed Savage got hit because of how many people were around him. O’Brien does not have access to video on the sideline that would have showed him the hit and Savage’s reaction, something the coach said would have led to a different decision.
“With benefit of seeing the video, obviously from my standpoint — the care for the player — I would have never let that player back into the game and I don’t believe [head trainer] Geoff Kaplan would have let that player back in the game,” O’Brien said, via Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle.
O’Brien saying he asked Kaplan to check Savage again after a three-and-out and that he was told after the second check that Savage could not return to the game. It was not clear from O’Brien’s account whether the spotters in the booth or the unaffiliated neurological consultant on the sideline took a look at the video, which they are supposed to have access to, before clearing Savage to return to action.