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Texans avoid punishment over handling of Tom Savage's concussion

100   //    29 Dec 2017, 23:02 IST
Tom Savage

The Houston Texans will not face disciplinary action from the NFL for the team's handling of quarterback Tom Savage's concussion, sustained against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 14.

A joint statement released by the NFL and NFL Players Association on Friday said further review of the play found that "the medical staff followed the protocol" but "the outcome was unacceptable and therefore further improvements in the protocol are necessary."

The statement, in part, explained that the doctors had not seen video footage of Savage in a so-called "fencing posture," a response to a concussion in which the victim's arms are flexed or extended after impact.

"The review showed that following a hard tackle, Mr. Savage was immediately removed from the game and evaluated for a concussion," the statement read.

"The Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant (UNC) and team physician reviewed the initial broadcast video, saw the play and Mr. Savage's response and followed the Protocol by performing a complete sideline concussion evaluation on Mr. Savage, which he passed. 

"The slow-motion video, which focused more directly on the fencing posture, was not broadcast until after the doctors had begun the sideline evaluation and thus was not seen by the medical staff prior to the evaluation. 

"The Texans medical staff continued to monitor Mr. Savage after the initial evaluation and shortly after his return to the game, identified symptoms that had not been present during the sideline evaluation and took him to the locker room for further evaluation."

In light of the incident and in conjunction with the NFL's independent Head, Neck and Spine Committee, the league made changes to the protocol that were implemented ahead of Week 15. The NFL opted to enforce the alterations sooner rather than wait until the 2018 season to tweak the protocol.

Savage, who was placed on injured reserve on Saturday, has not played since suffering the concussion.

Friday's statement comes after the Seattle Seahawks were fined $100,000 last week for not following concussion protocol with quarterback Russell Wilson. 

The team's coaching and medical staffs will also be required to attend remedial training regarding the NFL's concussion protocol after a joint review found a "clear violation" during Wilson's examination.

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