- Norm Hall/Getty Images
- Russell Wilson took a shot to the jaw during “Thursday Night Football” and was sent to the sidelines by the referee to be checked for a concussion.
- Wilson returned to the field just one play later without being examined, potentially breaking the NFL’s concussion protocol.
- The Seahawks could face up to $150,000 in fines should the league find that they violated the policy.
Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks are facing scrutiny after Wilson appeared to skirt standard concussion protocol following a hit to the jaw during their 22-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals during “Thursday Night Football.”
The hit came in the third quarter, when Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby made it past the Seahawks offensive line unblocked and took out Wilson just as he was releasing his pass. After the play, Wilson did not appear to show any obvious signs of a concussion, but referee Walt Anderson sent him off the field to be examined.
Wilson entered the team’s medical tent alone, where he stayed for just seconds before re-emerging. Backup Austin Davis took one snap before Wilson jogged back on to the field to finish the drive.
You can watch the whole scene play out below.
Russell Wilson sent off aftertaking hit to the chin for concussion check, ducked in the tentthen sent right back out pic.twitter.com/8HXvKOGNuG
— That Dude (@cjzer0) November 10, 2017
The Seahawks drive was stalled two plays later, at which point Wilson went back into the medical tent and stayed for a longer period of time. He returned to the field for the Seahawks’ next possession.
According to NFL concussion protocol, a player must be subjected to a medical examination if they show or report signs or symptoms of a concussion, if they sustain “a mechanism of injury (‘big hit’) that is reasonably expected to give rise to a concussion, or “concern is raised” by somebody, including a game official.
At that point, the player cannot return to the field until both a team physician and independent consultant clear him to play. Teams can be fined $150,000 if it is determined they violated the protocol.
After the game, Wilson insisted that he was fine to keep playing, but commended referee Walt Anderson’s decision to send him off.
“I was just trying to move my jaw. I was like, ‘Ah, man, it’s stuck,'” Wilson said. “I think I was kinda like laying down on the ground for a second just trying to get my jaw, and I think Walt thought maybe I was injured or something like that. I told him I was good, I was good, and he said, ‘Come off the field.'”
“I think Walt did a great job first of all. He made the smartest decision. I was fine, though, 100 percent fine. And then they finally went over through the whole concussion stuff and all that. We went through every question you could imagine, and I answered even some more for them just so they knew I was good, and then went back in there.”
Even if Wilson showed no signs of a concussion, the fact that he was sent off to be checked and then returned to the field before being cleared by both necessary parties should be concerning to the NFL.