Jay Cutler was hammered by Houston Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins in the second quarter Sunday night in one of the hardest hits to the helmet we've seen a quarterback take all season. He suffered a concussion. He did not come out of the game until halftime -- seven snaps later.
No matter how the Chicago Bears explain it, they failed Cutler in the game by not testing him for a concussion right away and/or taking him out of the game. Chicago coach Lovie Smith said Cutler did not start displaying symptoms until halftime. That's ridiculous.
Cutler was hit on a play that required a replay review to determine if he threw the ball past the line of scrimmage. There was a long delay in the game and the NBC broadcasters mentioned multiple times that Cutler looked "shaken up" or "foggy" after taking the hit. They mentioned that the extra time could help Cutler shake the cobwebs out.
Anyone watching at home could tell Cutler was at risk enough to be thoroughly checked. He didn't look right. But he was allowed to stay in the game and wound up taking another hit on an 11-yard gain the very next play. If Cutler was clocked in the head again, we suspect the reaction to him staying in the game would be very different. He took more shots than necessary; even Smith admitted that.
We contacted the NFL to see if they will be investigating whether the Bears followed procedure. A spokesman responded: "We review with club medical staffs all significant injuries."
The NFL takes concussions and injury procedure seriously enough to fine the Redskins $20,000 just for mislabeling Robert Griffin III's concussion to the media. Teams should be held more accountable for failing to keep their players safe.
UPDATE: The NFL reviewed the incident and found no wrongdoing. "Our office reviewed it with the [Bears] medical staff and it was properly handled," said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, via the Chicago Sun-Times. "The team followed the correct protocol."
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