Brady Quinn had waited 3 years for a second chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He wasn’t going to let a concussion put him back on the sideline.
That is the reason why the Chiefs quarterback admitted to attempting to play through his 2nd concussion of the season, which he believes happened when a defender’s knee struck the back of his helmet in a game against the Oakland Raiders on October 28.
Quinn recalls having vision issues after the blow, but made a decision to remain in the game, although he was dazed enough to put on the wrong helmet on the sideline between possessions.
He never saw the Raiders’ Rolando McClain while getting sacked later in the 1st quarter, perhaps augmenting the severity of the initial concussion, and recalled having “tunnel vision” and being unable to see the Oakland defensive backs when he threw an interception.
It was at that point Quinn was removed from the game.
“That’s why I tried to remain in the game, because it was the first chance for me in a while,” said Quinn, speaking for the 1st time since the injury. “I attempted to play thru it, and that is my fault for not being smart about it.”
Quinn already has been excluded for Kansas City’s game. It’s the second straight game he’s missed since turning into the starting quarterback.
The previous 1st-round draft pick sustained his first concussion this year when he got hit while scrambling in a preseason game at Green Bay. Quinn asserted he blacked out for a few seconds after the blow, and then saw stars, but everything started to clear up after a couple of minutes. NFL lines
The newest concussion seems to be lingering, Quinn related, giving him reason for concern.
“It’s definitely a thought,” he announced, “because it is the 2nd one this year, and if you come back too soon, before your symptoms calm down, it does involve some risk.”
The very fact that Quinn declined to remove himself from the game typifies a “gladiator-like” culture that NFL executives are trying to change, and the lengths that some players are prepared to go to maintain their tenuous grasp on a job.
The issue of player safety has been thrust into the spotlights amid widespread reports of dementia in former players, and with roughly 3,500 ex-players concerned in various lawsuits saying the NFL has mishandled or ignored head injuries. The scrutiny has led to thousands of dollars in fines handed out by the league for unsportsmanlike conduct or unnecessary roughness.
The players’ union has requested that the NFL place independent neurologists on the sidelines of every game and include them as part of the initial concussions examination custom. For now, when a player shows signs of head trauma, immediate exams are conducted by team physicians.
Quinn said he’s now being evaluated by Doctor Micky Collins, the director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program in Pittsburgh, one of the number 1 experts in the diagnosis, treatment and rehab of athletes who’ve suffered concussions.
Collins helped design the ImPACT test now used by many pro sports leagues, including the NFL, to assess concussions and establish when a injured athlete can safely return to play.