- Associated Press - Monday, September 13, 2010

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Stewart Bradley banged his head on a teammate’s leg, struggled to get up, took a couple steps and fell helmet-first onto the ground.

Clearly, something was wrong.

Bradley sustained a concussion when he collided with Ernie Sims during Philadelphia’s 27-20 loss to Green Bay on Sunday. Yet somehow, the Eagles’ middle linebacker returned for a few plays before he was pulled for the rest of the game.

Minutes before Bradley went down, Kevin Kolb’s head was slammed down so hard on a tackle from behind that a chunk of grass got stuck in his helmet. He got up slowly and walked off the field.

The team initially said Kolb had a jaw injury, and the quarterback returned to throw three passes before sitting out the rest of the game with a concussion.

Head injuries were an important issue for the NFL in the offseason. Last year, the league implemented stricter return-to-play guidelines for players who show concussion symptoms, and each team must consult with an independent neurologist whenever there is a head injury.

So, how could Bradley and Kolb be allowed to re-enter the game with concussions?

“We stuck to the criteria there, and then followed up on it,” coach Andy Reid said Monday. “We didn’t just stick (them) out there without having followed the protocol. We also made sure that we stayed on top of it when they came back off the field and made the decision when symptoms were there. I have full trust in the trainers and the doctors and the procedure they admit through.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the 32 teams last Dec. 2 saying a player who gets a concussion should not return to action on the same day if he shows certain signs or symptoms.

Those include an inability to remember assignments or plays, a gap in memory, persistent dizziness, persistent headaches and confusion as evidenced by disorientation to person, time or place.

Anyone watching Bradley stagger to his feet and then crash to the ground probably would’ve considered him disoriented.

“When he came off that initial time, he was fine, he went through all the steps and he flew through those things fine, and obviously was eager to get back out there,” Reid said.

Reid said he didn’t see the play live. When it happened, Kolb already was receiving attention, so it’s unknown which members of the medical staff witnessed Bradley’s disturbing tumble.

Reid would not allow head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder to speak to reporters on Monday, saying: “I gave you everything that needed to be done.”

He staunchly supported Burkholder and the medical staff for the way they addressed the injuries.

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