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James Franklin defends handling of Jordan Matthews' health


Vanderbilt coach James Franklin insists star wide receiver Jordan Matthews, a top senior pro prospect who ranks No 58 on the Hot 100 list by's Gil Brandt, was properly cleared by the Commodores' medical staff to re-enter Thursday night's game against Ole Miss after he vomited on the field moments after the back of his head forcefully struck the ground on a hard hit.

Television announcers noted that vomiting is a classic symptom for a concussion. According to Matthews, he vomited not because his head hit the turf on a violent tackle by Cody Prewitt, but because Prewitt delivered the hit to Matthews' stomach area.

"If you look at the hit, I definitely got hit in the stomach," Matthews said. "I think people were worried that I went back out there too fast, but we have a top-notch training staff. They knew that there were no concussions symptoms. They saw that I felt fine. My eyes weren't dilated and I wasn't looking crazy, so they knew I was ready to play."

Matthews had been given I.V. fluids earlier in the game to help him with cramping problems.

"There were some things discussed during the game about some decisions that were made with Jordan Matthews and some other guys when it comes to health," Franklin said. "First of all, the coaches never make those decisions. That is a decision that is made by the medical staff, and I believe we have one of the finest medical staffs in the country. ... I want everybody to understand that we will never do anything to put any of our players in jeopardy."

Matthews finished the game with a career-high 178 receiving yards on 10 receptions in a 39-35 loss to the Rebels.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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