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Browns, NFL meet and discuss McCoy’s concussion
Question of the Day
CLEVELAND (AP) - An investigation by the NFL and Players Association into the Browns' handling of Colt McCoy’s concussion could lead to changes in the league’s medical procedures and protocol on head injuries.
McCoy sustained a concussion when he was hit last week by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who was suspended for one game for the helmet-to-helmet hit, his fifth illegal one on a quarterback in the past three seasons. McCoy was off the field for less than four minutes after the hit.
Medical representatives from the league and NFLPA met Tuesday with the Browns’ medical staff and discussed the team’s response and treatment of McCoy’s injury, which may have exposed some previously unaddressed issues tied to concussion policies.
League spokesman Greg Aiello said any findings from the meeting will be reviewed by commissioner Roger Goodell and members of the league’s committee on head, neck and spine injuries will be consulted. Aiello said in an email response that any changes in policy or procedure would be made by Goodell and in conjunction with the league’s medical committee and the player’s union.
NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith acknowledged the union is taking part in the review.
“We made visits pursuant to new procedures in the CBA that are designed to protect our players,” he said in a statement. “We will examine what we learned and take whatever steps that are necessary” to ensure player safety.
The Browns said McCoy, whose head snapped back after he was struck on the facemask, did not show symptoms of a concussion until after the game. Coach Pat Shurmur claims the team followed medical protocol before the second-year quarterback was allowed to return just minutes after absorbing the vicious hit.
On Monday, Shurmur refused to answer direct questions whether the team administered standardized concussion tests for McCoy while he was on the sideline. Shurmur said head trainer Joe Sheehan told him McCoy was ready to go back in the game.
“I feel like we followed the normal medical procedures necessary,” Shurmur said. “We followed the procedures to determine whether he was eligible to play.”
McCoy was sent home before practice on Monday to rest as he recovers from his concussion, the ninth suffered by a Cleveland player this season.
Shurmur hopes McCoy will be able to play at Arizona this Sunday. Backup Seneca Wallace will make his first start of the season if McCoy is ruled out. Wallace came in for two plays after McCoy was briefly knocked out of the game by Harrison.
The Browns have come under intense scrutiny for the way they dealt with McCoy’s injury.
The quarterback’s father, Brad McCoy, criticized the team for allowing his son to return to the game. The elder McCoy went as far as to question whether the Browns’ medical staff was capable of identifying a concussion.
“He never should’ve gone back in the game,” McCoy, a former high school coach told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. “He was basically out (cold) after the hit. You could tell by the rigidity of his body as he was laying there. There were a lot of easy symptoms that should’ve told them he had a concussion.”
The NFLPA could file a grievance on McCoy’s behalf if it’s determined the Browns did not test him properly for a concussion. The league could also take action against the club.
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