Concussion expert rips Colts, NFL after Brissett decision

Chris Nowinski, CEO of of the Sports Legacy Institute at Boston University and chairman of The Chicago Concussion Coalition, speaks during a news conference Aug. 22, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A national concussion expert is taking aim at the NFL, specifically the Indianapolis Colts.

The reaction came after a vicious hit Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett took in Sunday’s game.

“To be honest, I was angry.” Dr. Chris Nowinski told 24-Hour News 8. “I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and we’re trying to get the NFL to set the right example to the rest of the country on how you handle concussions because it is a life and death issue and they keep finding ways to skirt common sense.”

Nowinski runs the Concusion Legacy Foundation in Boston and said he was watching Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers live when Brissett took that brutal hit.

“I thought that’s a clear concussion and I didn’t expect him to be back,” Nowinski said.

But Brissett passed the concussion protocol and quickly back on the field.

The Colts said it wasn’t until after the game that Brissett showed signs of a concussion.

Head Coach Chuck Pagano spoke about the league’s concussion protocol the day after the game.

“I think it’s simple. I think they’ve got the thing set up the way it’s supposed to be set up.” Pagano said. “You know, pull him out, go through the protocol. Check off all the boxes, dot the i’s cross the t’s. No they’re doing what they’re supposed to do.”

Nowinski completely disagrees and even called the concussion protocol a “fraud.”

“The Brissett issue happens over and over again, players getting hit in the head showing clear concussion signs, then being allowed 15 minutes to recover during the evaluation and being put back in. That is a clear gap that they still refuse to properly train their folks and then they still refuse to punish the teams that make mistakes,” Nowinski said.

Nowinski added that he think players should be forced to stay off the field for an extended period of time after a viscous hit, that way doctors can catch delayed concussion symptoms.