The NFL and NFLPA will reportedly investigate how the Pittsburgh Steelers handled the concussion symptoms quarterback Ben Roethlisberger experienced during Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, according to ESPN.
Roethlisberger self-reported his symptoms after being hit hard by Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin and defensive end Michael Bennett in the fourth quarter. He remained in the game for nine plays after the hit, but did not return for the Steelers’ final offensive drive.
After putting himself in concussion protocol, the quarterback told 93.7 The Fan that after undergoing tests, he felt well enough to play against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and did not believe he had actually sustained a concussion.
Despite the positive step Roethlisberger took to keep himself healthy, the league is now investigating why it was necessary for him to report his own symptoms to begin with, exploring why an independent spotter, any of the team trainers, or an official did not suspend play or use a medical time out to properly evaluate Roethlisberger.
“It’s great that he self-reported, but that’s not the process we signed up for,” a union official told ESPN.
In 2011, the NFL implemented the use of certified athletic trainers to be utilized as spotters from the press box. This season, the spotters are now able to buzz an official if they feel a player is in need of medical assistance.
However, this system may not be working as the NFL intended. Rams quarterback Case Keenum sustained a concussion against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 22. Keenum was not pulled out of the game and continued to play despite his injury.
The NFL looked into the situation and decided not to penalize the Rams, but the NFLPA is continuing to investigate why concussion protocol was not followed by the Rams’ medical staff.
- Xandria James