The Seattle Seahawks were fined $100,000 for failing to properly administer concussion protocols following a hit to the head of quarterback Russell Wilson during a Week 10 win over the Cardinals on Nov. 9.
Wilson left the field after taking a hit to the jaw in the third quarter and disappeared into the medical tent for a few seconds before remerging and returning to the field. Needless to say, that’s not exactly enough time for a proper medical evaluation.
Seattle won, 22-16.
While Brandon Tierney applauds the NFL for punishing the Seahawks, the punishment seems woefully inadequate. A hundred grand? Really? That’s it? How does that relatively small amount deter a team from just going through the concussion-protocol motions in an important game and sending its franchise player back onto the field? A win is worth more than a hundred grand, no?
“Well, I’d like to think that as this is happening there are breakdowns for various reasons, that it’s not a financial equation,” CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on Tiki and Tierney. “I’d like to think it’s more of a chain-of-command issue or a coach had something else going on. I don’t know. It takes a village to screw up this massively when we’re talking (about) Russell Wilson. I await what they come up with (for) Tom Savage – because that was beyond egregious.”
In Week 14 against the Niners, Savage returned to play after taking a violent hit to the head – one that left his hands twitching on the turf. Savage entered the medial tent, emerged a few minutes later, and reentered the game on the next series.
Houston lost, 26-16.
“I’d like to think it’s more failure of communication (and) various breakdowns than it is overt, ‘Yeah, we see it. We’re just going to disregard it because this guy’s so important and they may only dock us $100,000 anyway,’” La Canfora said. “This is the first time anybody’s even been fined, so let’s see where it goes from here. If Houston only gets $100,000 too – or (if) repeat offenders only get $100,000 – (that’s a problem). But to (the) overall point, yes, this is a drop in the bucket for guys who are part of an industry that brings in, I don’t know, $16 billion in revenue.”
Tiki Barber wonders if the NFL should get rid of sideline-medical tents and require players to go to the locker room for concussion evaluations. As of now, it’s simply too easy to walk into the tent, walk out, and reenter the game.
“Look, it’s obvious that changes need to be made,” La Canfora said. “I don’t know exactly what the answers are. I don’t know how to make it fool-proof or if you need to add more eyes to it or more layers or what. But it’s clearly not being applied as they hoped.”