Posted January 10, 2014

NFL: Two players violated concussion protocol in Wild Card games

NFL
Keenan Lewis heads to the locker room during last week's Wild Card game vs. Eagles. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Keenan Lewis heads to the locker room during last week’s Wild Card game vs. Eagles. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari and New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis suffered concussions during last week’s Wild Card games and subsequently violated the league’s concussion protocol, according to the Associated Press.

According to the NFL’s protocol, concussed players are supposed to be taken to the locker room.

Instead, according to the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee chairmen, Dr. Hunt Batjer and Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, one of the players re-entered the game (Bakhtiari) and the other stayed on the sidelines (Lewis). Lewis did not return to the game after he was injured but was seen going to the locker room.

“On two occasions last weekend, and contrary to the advice of the team medical staffs, players who had been diagnosed with a concussion and therefore declared ineligible for play nonetheless refused to leave the sidelines as required by league concussion protocols,” the letter said. “In one case, the player went back onto the field for one play before being removed from the game.

“We emphasize that we find no fault in how the team medical staffs conducted themselves last weekend. If a player refuses to follow your advice and leave the sidelines after being diagnosed with a concussion, we recommend that the head athletic trainer seek assistance from the player’s position coach (or another member of the coaching staff) or from another team official to remove the player from the sidelines as soon as possible.”

BURKE & FARRAR: The Playbook: Previewing Colts-Patriots, 49ers-Panthers, more divisional round games

Lewis is expected to play this weekend in Saturday’s NFC Divisional game against the Seattle Seahawks.


27 comments
Joebuckster
Joebuckster

No story here. Neither player went back into the game. This is just the NFL using it's chance to say to the world "see? we care about our players, and have all along. It was their fault, not ours - we can't stop them'...

Don12
Don12

Lewis should have removed his shoulder pads and left his helmet before he went back to the sidelines but he earned the privilege to finish watching the game on the sidelines and celebrate with is teammates after they won the game.

don45689@bellsouth.net
don45689@bellsouth.net

How can you say that Lewis broke any rules.He went to the locker room and didn't play in the game after he got hurt.This is B .S. Let the NFL start messing with our Saints again and see what happens.  Who Dat !


ElvisHitler
ElvisHitler

Typical McCarthy protocol, try to bend the rules and complain when you get caught.

espnrefugee0218
espnrefugee0218

i miss the nfl when it was funny to see a guy wobbling around after getting JACKED UP 


donald5
donald5

If they are going to whine about how Lewis's situation was handled, they are really pushing it.  It was obvious from his interaction with the coaches that he was not going to be allowed back in the game.  

Joe R2
Joe R2

I hate the Packers, but David Bakhtiari is one tough Persian!

TheSconnieNation
TheSconnieNation

So a large and strong man forced his way past a trainer and people are advocating penalizing the team who did the right thing?  I get penalizing the player in that situation, but some of you Packer haters are off the deep end.  

Marsh the Great
Marsh the Great

Both teams should be fined (the Packers much moreso than the Saints) but I don't think Lewis should be fined for watching the game from the sidelines after being checked. I understand that they're trying to cover their own butts with these guidelines but that guy earned the right to watch from the sidelines regardless of health (well, to a degree; obviously he shouldn't be out there if he was hemorrhaging or anything). Perhaps if he'd have taken his shoulder pads off, there'd have been less of an issue?

ScottSinclair
ScottSinclair

oh come on...if Roger Goodell was truly serious about player safety he wouldn't be looking to add 2 more games to the schedule or adding more playoff games.

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

Disgraceful move by the packers to let this guy back out there.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

If the league is serious about their 'concern' over this issue the players should be suspended for their next game.  Lewis this week and Bakhtiari for the first game next season.  Come on RGZero, step up to the plate here.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@TheSconnieNation So you think that a large and strong man should make the decisions for the team? I have have no particular feelings for the Packers one way or the other, but if a team is lacking in discipline action needs to be taken. The inmates DO NOT run the asylum.

UBERTAXTHERICH
UBERTAXTHERICH

@Marsh the Great Agreed. No problem wanting to get back in there but for the team to let them back in is a different story. Expect a hefty fine and loss of drat picks for Green Bay.

Supernaut
Supernaut

@ScottSinclair Exactly! If the league is so "concerned" about concussions, they'll realize that a 17th and 18th regular season game will only endanger more players' health and safety.

TreadMichels
TreadMichels

@Richard--Ramirez First, did you read?  Was Green Bay suppose to tackle the guy and put him in handcuffs and drag him back into the locker room?  If you HAD  read the article, they said it was the player's decision and solely the player's decision.  However, I'm not going to fault a player, since if he truly was "concussed", we can't expect his decisions are all lucid.  


But a better protocol would be, as someone  suggested, of having the player at least remove their gear so there's less concern he'll try to re-enter the game.

YuckDaFankees
YuckDaFankees

@donald5 @espnrefugee0218  >Suicide in your 40s is hilarious, right?


No of course not.  Suicide for them in their 40s after they are done playing is why most of them are millionaires whose salaries are paid by working stiffs.

PWINGS
PWINGS

@Rickapolis@TheSconnieNation  The inmate WAS running the asylum last season in D.C. when RGIII insisted on going back into the game after re-injuring his knee. I understand, that incident was not related to a concussion but it does compel the question as to who was responsible for that decision after it proved to be a dumb decision. 

Afterwards, when RGIII threw Shanahan under the bus for not holding him out, many fans sympathized with RGIII. So who's responsibility is it? Let's remember this, fans aren't the only ones reciting the mantra: "For the money they're making....!" The team owners, GM's and coaches are reciting it too. And if you're a rookie (as Bakhtari is) or an undrafted free agent fighting for a roster spot, you do NOT want to get a reputation for being lazy, fragile or selfish. Selfishness isn't the only reason a player feels a compelling need to go back into the game. There are other factors that seem to be overlooked in the discussion.

I am a Packer fan. If the Packers yanked Bakhtari as soon as they saw that he re-entered the game, I think they tried to do the right thing in a bad situation. While I don't condone what Bakhtari did, I think I understand it. Football players are always taught to be like soldiers in that the greater good of the team is more important than the safety of the individual. Don't be surprised when individual players take that philosophy to its logical extreme. They're only doing what they've been taught to do for years; to behave like soldiers and sacrifice themselves.

At the end of the day, the problem is not as simple as a lack of discipline. Regrettably!

donald5
donald5

@TreadMichels @Richard--Ramirez  The player can't put himself in the game without the coaches' permission.  The coach decides who goes in on each play and you have to be willfully ignorant to have someone sneak in for a play.  If the guy refuses to go to the locker room, don't call packages with him in it.  Send his backup in and tell them they can not let the guy take their place.  The point of these protocols is that it ISN'T the player's decision.

BlackSession1
BlackSession1

@donald5 @YuckDaFankees @espnrefugee0218 Did it really take anyone seeing the results of medical testing to understanding that repeatedly bashing your head against something could cause brain damage? So, yeah, it's what they signed up for. Just like boxers understand what they're getting into when they step into the ring. At some point in their lives, they weigh the pros of making copious amounts of money versus the cons of temporary and sometimes permanent injury. I'm sorry that some of them have suffered ill effects, but they weren't forced into their chosen profession. 

donald5
donald5

@YuckDaFankees @donald5 @espnrefugee0218 But you "liked" the comment where he said he enjoyed seeing someone wobbling around after a hit... you just don't think the part that comes after is funny?  So as long as you don't see the after effects, you can laugh at it?  At what income level is it ok for the current allowable working conditions to lead to permanent and debilitating physical and mental problems.  100k...500k... one million?  When do you start feeling as though the future health issues is "what they signed up for" even though the medical findings were kept from them?