The NFL is investigating the concussion test that was given to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson during the Thursday Night Football game against the Arizona Cardinals, the league announced Friday.
Wilson left the game in the third quarter after taking a hit to the head/neck area. Wilson was going to continue playing, but he was escorted off the field by referee Walt Anderson after the hit. After being taken out, Wilson went under the medical tent on the sidelines. The TV broadcast showed Wilson in the tent for a few seconds, but before the tent was fully set, Wilson had gotten up and left the area. He returned to the game after missing just one play. Wilson talked about this sequence after the game.
“Well I got smacked in the jaw pretty good there. I wasn’t concussed or anything like that,” Wilson said. “I felt completely clear. I was just trying to feel my jaw, I was like ‘aw man, it’s stuck.’ I think I was laying on the ground for a second just trying to feel my jaw and I think Walt (Anderson, the referee) thought maybe I was a little injured or something like that. I told him I was good, I was good and he said you got to come off.
“A thorough review is underway,” the league said in a statement. “According to the policy jointed developed by the NFL and NFLPA, if the Concussion Protocol is not properly followed the club is subject to discipline.”
If a player is sent off the field to be tested for a concussion, he must be looked at by the team doctor and an independent neurologist. The player must be cleared of a concussion by both the doctor and the neurologist before he can return to the game. Wilson talked about the events after the game. Even with the short time off the field, Wilson said he underwent the entire concussion protocol.
“And then I finally went over through the whole concussion stuff,” Wilson said. “We went through every question you can imagine. I answered even some more for them just so they knew I was good and then went back in there.”
If a team is found to have returned a player to the game without the player undergoing the concussion protocol, they are subject to discipline. A team’s first offense, which this scenario would be Seattle’s first offense, is a fine of $150,000. But commissioner Roger Goodell has the authority to take away draft picks if a team is found to have not followed the concussion protocol to gain a competitive advantage.