BY SPNW Staff 12:18PM 12/21/2017

Seahawks fined $100K for concussion violation

The Seahawks were docked $100,000 and their coaching and medical staffs were ordered to take remedial training after they violated the league’s concussion protocol.

Russell Wilson nearly had his jaw broken in the Arizona game. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

The NFL Thursday hit the Seahawks with a $100,000 fine for their failure to properly apply the concussion protocol on a hit to the jaw of QB Russell Wilson during a Nov. 9 win over the Arizona Cardinals. A joint NFL-NFLPA review also determined that Seattle’s coaching and medical staffs will be required to attend remedial training regarding the protocol.

“The results of the joint review determined that the protocol was triggered when Mr. Wilson was directed to the sideline for an evaluation after the referee, Walt Anderson, concluded that a medical examination was warranted,” an NFL statement said. “Nonetheless, the required evaluation was not conducted and Mr. Wilson was permitted to return to the game without an evaluation.”

At his weekly press briefing at team headquarters, Wilson said he believed the procedure was done properly.

“I was just told about (the fine),” he said. “I guess that is what they decided to do.  I thought everything was done in the right way. There was a lot of confusion.  I didn’t really understand why I was coming out of the game anyway. I was completely clear.  My jaw was a little messed up but other than that, that is what they decided.”

In the week after the game, Wilson disclosed that doctors said he narrowly averted a broken jaw. He was on a liquid diet for several days and him to go to a liquid diet, and barely avoided having his jaw wired shut.

The NFL release said that, once Wilson was ordered off the field, he can’t return without medical permission, and so “was in violation of the Concussion Protocol.  Subsequently the team medical staff did examine the player and cleared him per the protocol.

“As determined by the NFL and NFLPA, an immediate update will be made to the protocol instructing officials, teammates, and coaching staff to take players directly to a member of the medical team for a concussion assessment. The NFL and the NFLPA will continue to look at potential modifications to the protocols in an effort to keep players safe.”

The hit to Wilson occurred in the third quarter when he was blasted by Cardinals LB Karlos Dansby. Wilson was seen rubbing his jaw, then was ordered off. TV cameras showed him entering the sideline medical tent for a few seconds and talking with no medical personnel before exiting and returning to play.

“Well, I got smacked in the jaw pretty good there,” Wilson said after the game. “I wasn’t concussed or anything like that. I felt completely clear. I was just trying to feel my jaw. I was like, ‘Aw man, it’s stuck.’ I think I was laying on the ground for a second, just trying to feel my jaw and I think Walt thought maybe I was a little injured. I told him I was good, I was good and he said you got to come off.

“I think Walt did a great job. He made the smartest decision. I was fine, though. A hundred percent fine. Then I finally went over through the whole concussion stuff. We went through every question you can imagine. I answered even some more for them just so they knew I was good and then went back in there.”





  • DJ

    Very disappointing. The NFL is all over the map – no consistency, and very reactionary. Protocol needs to be fixed. Sure, pull your star player for needless concussion protocol after he gets hit in the jaw during a critical point in a game. Game won’t wait for him. Imagine if Russ had actually gone through the full evaluation. Would have changed the outcome of the game

    • art thiel

      The whole point of the protocol is to protect the players, and never mind the score. And the players union agrees. It was the Seahawks who didn’t know what they were doing.

      • DJ

        Sure, the protocol is to be on the conservative side and protect the players, and we know that players have a history of not wanting to leave the field, even if concussed. I agree that Russell and the Seahawks did not follow through with the agreed rule. In this case application of the protocol was up to the judgement of the official – I believe that the team doctors also have the authority to apply it. It is entirely possible to take a head shot and not be concussed. Russell’s believed he wasn’t and that only his jaw was the issue. I say that the official got it wrong by not believing Russell. Yet Tom Savage of the Texans can take a head shot and be laying on the ground with his appendages twitching and he’s not pulled for protocol. Inconsistent application based on inconsistent judgements.

  • DAWG

    Adapt or die. Football culture and those in power must respect the potential to destroy lives, and if not lives certainly lawsuits and the monumental financial consequences that follow. Adapt or die, football. Those that love and value football will value the players well being and future outside the arena.

    • art thiel

      All true. So shall we go to flag football? And what about soccer: Mandatory helmets?

      • DAWG

        Water polo, Art ! That’s the future !