Monday, September 13, 2010

Concussion Policy vs. Procedure

Isn't it great that the NFL has a new concussion policy that requires independent medical evaluation prior to returning a player to play after sustaining a concussion?
"Once removed for the duration of a practice or game, the player should not be considered for return-to-football activities until he is fully asymptotic, both at rest and after exertion, has a normal neurological examination, normal neuropsychological testing, and has been cleared to return by both his team physician(s) and the independent neurological consultant."

Perhaps the Philadelphia Eagles trainers and coaches did not receive this memo, or stay awake at mandatory training sessions. After seeing Stewart Bradley and Kevin Kolb sustain concussions and return to play in the same game, you have to wonder.

At least the Philly sports writers recognize the dangers in having a head coach completely ignorant of sports-concussion symptoms:
"They were fine," coach Andy Reid said after the game. "All the questions that they answered and the things they did with the docs registered well. As it went on, they weren't feeling well so we took them out."

If either of them had taken a hit after returning to the game despite concussions, the Eagles' coaches and medical staff could be answering some much tougher questions today than whether Michael Vick will start at quarterback next week.