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Holmgren: Browns did not check McCoy on sideline
“They were all working on other injured players, either in the bench area or behind players, so they did not see the play,” Holmgren said. “Then, they heard a crowd reaction. Someone said, `Colt’s down.’”
Holmgren said McCoy was “lucid and talking” when he was being treated and did not show any signs of having a concussion. Holmgren said Schickendantz “was looking at his face and his eyes, Joe was looking at the rest of him and he was complaining of his hand.” McCoy sustained a badly bruised hand.
Holmgren said McCoy was not unconscious and responded to everything the medical staff asked him to do. When McCoy got to the sideline, Holmgren said Dr. Tom Waters joined the others to check on McCoy, who also answered questions to satisfaction.
At that point, Holmgren said McCoy was not showing any concussion symptoms so the standardized SCAT2 (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool) was not given.
“Their reaction to the way Colt was acting did not dictate that,” he said. “They had not seen the play and he was talking, answering, knew how much time was left. So his response, following our normal protocol, did not dictate they administer the test.”
McCoy returned to the game after missing just two plays and threw a costly interception in the end zone. Pittsburgh scored moments later and won 14-3. It was only after McCoy, who was in for 18 plays after he sustained the concussion, had showered and was preparing for postgame interviews when he told doctors that he was feeling “funky.”
McCoy said a loud noise in the locker room startled him, and that’s when the Browns began testing and treating him for a concussion. McCoy asked for the TV lights to be dimmed before doing interviews and he was allowed to fly back to Cleveland with the team.
“I’m not going to second guess Pat on that,” he said. “Pat’s in the front lines. He’s got to make that decision. I’ve been there before with every quarterback I’ve ever coached. Pat made a judgment there and I think Colt probably displayed to him what he displayed to the doctors. He’s the coach. He’s got to make that call.”
“Anytime you have a situation like this it’s pretty visible,” he said. “It allows every opinion known to man to pile in. Then you’ve gotta be careful and do the right stuff. That’s why I said we want to be very involved with the league, with the union and deciding what that is. I would fully expect more conversations and more meetings to take place in the future in trying to make this as safe as we can for the players.”
Browns offensive tackle Tony Pashos, the team’s union representative, said McCoy’s injury revealed aspects of concussions and their treatment that haven’t been previously discussed.
“We got so caught up in the offseason on the union side as well as the NFL side of things with the lockout that we didn’t get as in depth with some of these procedural things,” he said. “We are the NFL. We have some of the best resources on the planet. The more we dive into this thing and get more knowledge and research we’ll change things.”
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