The NFL’s policy on concussions remains as hazy as the memory of a concussed player. In some instances a player becomes obviously concussed and is allowed to remain in the game. In other instances a player simply shows symptoms of a concussion and is shutdown faster than a laptop that has begun to download a virus.
Whatever the case there is a very real problem with the issues that arise from concussions. Thus the league has adopted a series of tests a player must pass before being cleared to play.
Last week Rolando McClain went through that process after he suffered a concussion in Miami. Yesterday we all bore witness to the scary scene that was Darrius Heyward-Bey’s violent collision. In addition Brandon Myers also suffered a concussion late in the contest.
Thankfully DHB was released from the hospital and is back home resting. Currently there is no timetable set for his return though it should be noted we saw something similar last year in Minnesota and Hey-Bey was able to play one week later. This time around feels much different though.
Dennis Allen claims that Myers will be OK but only team doctors can make that determination. Myers’ emergence in the passing game has helped Oakland’s offense slowly get up to speed.
McClain was cleared to play and participated in the rousing win over Pittsburgh so he at least provides hope for both Myers and Heyward-Bey.
Naturally health and safety is the first concern. However from a team standpoint losing both Myers and DHB would be problematic considering how thin the Raiders are already stretched at those respective positions.
For Heyward-Bey the road back could be a long one if his healing process is anything similar to how he became concussed in the first place. That is one instance in which a concussion and sore neck is more welcomed than what could have been.
What makes the compiling concussions so concerning for the Raiders is the aforementioned league-mandated tests which must be passed in order to play. Unlike other injuries players can’t simply tough it out. Thus a team with plenty of depth concerns faces yet another obstacle during an already tumultuous season. And keep in mind that even though McClain played this past Sunday it doesn’t mean he is symptom free. For all we know he could still have lingering issues that could surface later.
For those that are concerned I am knocking on wood as I write this.