After Brissett hit, concussion expert calls NFL Concussion Protocol a fraud

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) slides to a first down in front of Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Mike Hilton (31) during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – In a series of tweets, Dr. Chris Nowinski of the Concussion Legacy Foundation blasted the NFL for its concussion protocol following Jacoby Brissett’s helmet-to-helmet hit.

The hit happened during third quarter play Sunday against the Steelers. After the hit, Brissett was slow to stand and then sluggishly jogged off the field. The Colts say Brissett passed two concussion tests, one from team doctors, and from the NFL’s unaffiliated neurological consultant on the sidelines before returning to the game.

24-Hour News 8 later learned that after the game the team said Brissett began displaying concussion symptoms in the locker room, and has been placed in the league’s concussion protocol.

Not long after the game ended, Dr. Nowinski tweeted the clip of the hit along with the message:

“#NFL #concussion protocol is a fraud. QB Jacoby Brissett goes back in after showing the clearest concussions signs of the season. Helmet-to-helmet hit, holds head, then goes limp, then needs help up. You don’t need a protocol to hold this player out for the game. Check the tape:”

Once the news broke that Brissett had been put on concussion protocol Dr. Nowinski got back on twitter and wrote:

“BREAKING; Jacoby Brissett reports #concussion symptoms after game. I am beside myself! @nflcommish, protocol is fatally flawed. Doesn’t take on-field signs seriously & the example puts every youth athlete in danger. Rewrite it now. @ConcussionLF will help.”

“Mishandling of Jacoby Brissett’s obvious #concussion is a reminder that the “protocol” is based on an unethical #NFL philosophy: Keeping a healthy player out is far worse than putting a brain-injured player in. Rewrite & retrain staffs before someone dies.”

The Colts ended up losing to the Steelers 20-17. Steelers kicker Chris Boswell hit a 33-yard field goal as time expired to win it. This is a bye week for the Colts. The team will be back at Lucas Oil Stadium on the Sunday after Thanksgiving against the Titans. It’s unclear when Brissett will return to action.