Seahawks fined $100K over Russell Wilson concussion examination

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles as Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) and outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) pursue during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

SEATTLE -- Russell Wilson's quick exit and re-entry into the Nov. 9 game against the Arizona Cardinals has culminated in a $100,000 fine against the Seahawks.

In a joint statement, the NFL and NFLPA, the players' union, said it reviewed the so-called concussion protocol as it applied to Wilson.

"The results of the joint review determined there was a failure in the application of the protocol following the tackle of Mr. Wilson during the Seahawks-Cardinals game on Nov. 9," the statement said. "As a result, Seattle has been fined $100,000 and the coaching and medical staffs will be required to attend remedial training regarding the protocol."

The Seahawks said it accepts the findings but that it did not knowingly disregard the protocol. "Any misstep was unintentional and the result of confusion on the sidelines."

In that game, Wilson took a helmet to the jaw in the third quarter. Referee Walt Anderson ordered him to the sidelines. Wilson complied, was out one play and returned.

After the game Wilson said he "got smacked in the jaw pretty good there," but "I wasn't concussed or anything like that," according to SeattlePI.

"I felt completely clear, I was just trying to move my jaw, I was like 'Man it's stuck,'" he said. "I think I was laying down on the ground for a second just trying to get my jaw. I think Walt thought maybe I was injured or something like that. I told him I was good, I was good. He said 'Come off the field.' I think Walt did a great job, first of all. He made the smartest decision -- I was fine, though. One hundred percent fine.

"Then I finally went over and did the whole concussion stuff and all that. Went through every question you could imagine. I answered even some more for them so they knew I was good, then went back in."

But the NFL and the union don't agree.

"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. Nonetheless, the required evaluation was not conducted and Mr. Wilson was permitted to return to the game without an evaluation. Once it is determined that a medical examination is warranted, a player may only be cleared to return by the medical staff; Mr. Wilson’s return to the field without a sideline concussion evaluation was therefore in violation of the Concussion Protocol. Subsequently the team medical staff did examine the player and clear him per the protocol," the statement said.

"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 protocol requires that players who might have suffered a concussion be ordered to the sidelines, where the player is to be examined by the team physician and a neurotrauama consultant, according to SBNation.

A player who is suspected of having a concussion goes to the locker room for more examinations. If he has suffered a concussion, he cannot return to the game. Players who pass the exam are to be monitored throughout the game.

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