Kamu Grugier-Hill's Decision to Hide Concussion is "Disappointing"

Ed Kracz

PHILADELPHIA - A day after linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill said that he lied to the Eagles’ medical staff about the possibility of having an in-game concussion two weeks ago, head coach Doug Pederson called the situation "disappointing" and "a little selfish" and did not rule out the possibility that the team could take disciplinary action.

“I think what’s happened has happened,” Pederson said Friday. “I’ll evaluate some things and I’ll visit with (general manager) Howie (Roseman) and just try to talk through some things if I’m going to go down that path.”

Grugier-Hill suffered a concussion on the first play of the game against the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 1. It happened when he and Miami receiver DeVante Parker collided down the field. There didn’t appear to be any head-to-head contact, but it looked as if the linebacker’s head hit the ground.

Grugier-Hill told the medical staff that he had hurt his shoulder. He returned and played the remainder of the game with what turned out to be a concussion.

The linebacker did not tell the Eagles’ medical staff about his headaches until three days after the game, and a day after he had talked to reporters in the locker room, though he did not say anything at the time about the injury to the media.

“First play, can't come out that fast,” Grugier-Hill told reporters on Thursday when he admitted to keeping the possibility of concussion to himself.

Gruger-Hill did not play in Monday’s game against the New York Giants, but is out of concussion protocol and is practicing this week in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.

Pederson said the team holds medical meetings during training camp to let players know they should report injuries and even report any teammates who they suspect have an injury, and that goes for any kind of injury not just concussions.

“We know how important head and neck injuries are to our league and to just the person, the player himself and the well-being of the player, so from that standpoint, to have this come back like this and for him to admit what he has said and done, is very disappointing for me as the head coach after putting our players through meetings and instructing our players," Pederson said.

“It’s not a reflection on the team or anything like that, it’s just one guy who made a bad decision, a bad choice. I look at it and take football aside and say this is a well-being issue. Had he maybe got hit again in that game, who knows what could have happened? I’ll reiterate to our team again the importance of reporting injuries, regardless of what type of injury it is. I want him and the guys to know I’m disappointed in his decision.”

Even as a former player, Pederson said he cannot sympathize with Grugier-Hill’s decision to remain in the game.

“Our game has changed since I played,” said the coach. “Maybe then, maybe you could, but now there’s too many things in place, too many protocols, too many standards that we as coaches and players, we’re trying to protect our game and the well-being of every player.

“In a sense it’s a little bit of a selfish act to take it upon yourself to make that decision when he could’ve gotten checked out right away and probably would’ve been cleared to go back in the game at that point.”