I thought the NFL and their teams had finally gotten on the same page concerning their players and head injuries. According to NFL’s safety rules, players are to be kept off the field until they show no symptoms of a concussion and having an independent neurologist instead of the team doctor clear them to return. Now if that is the case, I would love to meet the independent neurologist that cleared Dustin Keller to return to the field after the hard fall he took while trying to leap over Buffalo Bills defenders on Sunday.
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Although it isn’t shown on the video, it was clear that immediately after Keller stood up, he was completely unaware of his surroundings and could barely stand on his own. You could tell there was concern because his teammate was helping him up and the opposing team even offered support. Keller was brought to the sideline where he was examined by one of the trainers. During his examination, the cameras panned over to Keller and caught him trying to recite the months of the year. If this isn’t a red flag for any trainer or physician, I don’t know what is.
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Keller was brought to the locker room for further tests and examination and, according to NFL rules, he was cleared by a independent neurologist.
I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it.
Two weeks ago, San Diego Chargers OL Kris Dielman suffered a concussion after a collision with the Jets Calvin Pace. Instead of being taken off the field for examination, Dielman waved off trainers and remained in the game. He too got up woozy and unsteady but still wanted to play. The trainers didn’t do their job and let a player wave them off when clearly he should have been taken out of the game. After the game he was checked out and cleared to make the trip back to San Diego. During landing he suffered a grand mal seizure, which after head trauma is a very serious matter.
After that whole ordeal with the Chargers, wouldn’t you think teams would tighten up their handling of concussions? I am not saying that Keller had a concussion, I’m not a doctor. What I am saying is that when a person cannot tell me the names of the months he should not be playing in a football game anytime soon, let alone that same day just hours after the injury occurred.
I hope Dustin Keller doesn’t have to deal with any lasting side effects from today or from the lack of care from his trainers like Kris Dielman had to.