NFL Doctor Calls Carson Wentz ‘Heroic’ After Reporting Concussion After Clowney Hit
The chief medical officer for the NFL called Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz‘s decision to report his concussion “heroic.” Wentz, who was hit in a helmet to helmet play and forced to the ground by Seattle’s Jadeveon Clowney, left the NFC wild-card game where Philadelphia’s season ended with a 17-9 loss.
Dr. Allen Sills serves as the NFL head doctor, having been brought on by commissioner Roger Goodell. Dr. Sills came from Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he served as Professor of Neurological Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation. He also founded the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Center.
“I think what Carson Wentz did is heroic and should be highlighted as an example of how an unbelievably skilled and competitive athlete understands the seriousness of concussion injury and is willing to honestly report it and receive the care that he needs independent of his desire and drive to continue to participate in the game,” Sills said.
He continued by adding, “Having a concussion and playing through it is not about toughness. That’s demonstrating a lack of understanding of the severity of the injury. So I applaud Carson Wentz for understanding how serious this injury is and for getting appropriate care that he needs.”
The 27-year old quarterback stayed in the game and threw a couple of passes before reporting symptoms on the sideline. After being examined in the medical tent, he left the field and did not return to the game.
The issue arose of the league’s system for concussion detection and how it seemed broken. Media personnel and fans have argued the system failed since Wentz had to report his symptoms, as opposed to the independent spotters and neurotrauma consultants monitoring the game who failed to spot if Wentz was exhibiting concussive behavior or symptoms.
Dr. Sills disputed the notion that the league’s system failed.
“You have to have people talking to the players,” Sills said. “You want to make the players and their officials and coaches and everyone aware of the symptoms because you’re not always going to see it on video, but yet there will be signs there if you’re looking at everything.”
Clowney was not penalized for the late hit and the league hasn’t determined whether he’ll be fined or not.