Two weeks after Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage was hit hard and appeared to shake uncontrollably, the team won’t be disciplined for the way they handled his concussion symptoms.
During the Week 14 game against the San Francisco 49ers, Savage was leveled by a defender. Many on social media said the involuntary twitching he displayed was akin to a “seizure.”
FYI: Tom Savage was thrown back into the game less than 5 mins after this seizure due to a head injury.
Concussion Protocol™ in the @NFL is a mix between a sick joke and a disgusting charade. pic.twitter.com/5fLwZr0cSB
— Kwanzaa Addict (@CormacCor) December 11, 2017
But despite that, Savage was allowed back on the field after he was checked out by the medical staff on the sideline. He was later taken to the locker room and was ruled out for the game.
The NFL and NFL Players Association said that allowing him to return to the field was “unacceptable.” Medical staff saw the “initial broadcast video,” they told ESPN—but they did not see the slow-motion replay of Savage twitching after the hit.
“The slow-motion video, which focused more directly on the fencing posture, was not broadcast until after the doctors had begun the sideline evaluation and thus was not seen by the medical staff prior to the evaluation,” a statement from the NFL and NFLPA said, according to the NFL Network.
“The Texans medical staff continued to monitor Mr. Savage after the initial evaluation and shortly after his return to the game, identified symptoms that had not been present during the sideline evaluation and took him to the locker room for further evaluation.”
Savage was placed on injured reserve for their Week 16 game. He was officially diagnosed with a concussion.
Texans coach Bill O’Brien defended the handling of the situation.
“At no point in my coaching career, have I ever passed the buck. In this case, I’m not passing the buck,” he said, according to the NFL Network.
O’Brien continued: “At no point in time in my coaching career, in my 25 years of coaching, I’ve been at Brown University, I’ve been at Georgia Tech, I’ve been at Duke, I’ve been at the University of Maryland, I’ve been the head coach at Penn State and I’ve been the head coach here, at no point in time is there anything more important to me than the safety of our players. I love our players and I care about them and I cannot stand when players get injured. Again with benefit of seeing the video that people are seeing, I would have never put him back in the game.”
A week ago, the Seattle Seahawks were fined $100,000 for handling the concussion protocol on Russell Wilson.