A report from The Read Optional says offensive tackle Brett Kendrick played at least a half with a concussion.
Tennessee right tackle Brett Kendrick played almost the entire second half of his team's loss to Kentucky on Saturday with a concussion, according to a report from The Read Optional.
A source texted the Read Optional the following message, which is pretty disturbing given what we now know about concussions and brain injuries in football.
"He is resting in a dark room. He doesn’t remember anything about the second half of the game," the text reads. "They left him in until the last 22 seconds and only pulled him out because he finally threw up on the sideline.”
Kendrick could be seen wobbling throughout the second half and did not speak with media after the game. The school said he had a scheduling conflict, but the source told The Read Optional that no conflict existed. Kendrick also didn't speak to the media on Monday or Tuesday.
Tennessee's athletic director, John Currie, released a statement that outlined concussion protocol but did not assert that the protocol was or was not properly followed. The statement also does not acknowledge Kendrick by name.
"The health and safety of our student-athletes is our number one responsibility," the statement says. "Our sports medicine staff and team medical personnel have full autonomy and unquestioned authority during all team activities, including the ability to remove a player from competition and 'return to play' decisions. At all football games, the Southeastern Conference has a trained independent medical observer present who also has full authority to stop play and remove a student-athlete from competition for assessment and/or treatment.
"We have a constant and consistently communicated expectation that all coaches, staff and student-athletes remain attentive to ensure that any potential injuries are appropriately addressed-with full intentions that the student-athlete safety is never compromised."
This incident could have contractual implications for Tennessee coach Butch Jones, who is not expected to stay at Tennessee past this season. If he is found to have endangered or mistreated a player, Tennessee could have legal grounding to fire him with cause, which would absolve them from having to pay Jones a buyout fee.
On a teleconference with reporters on Wednesday, Jones denied knowingly endangering Kendrick.
"We would never ever knowingly put a student-athlete in harm's way," Jones said, per Fox Sports Knoxville. "I have absolutely no say in these decisions."