While the league is reviewing Houston Texans linebacker Tim Dobbin’s hit on Jay Cutler, they have already cleared the Bears in their handling of the quarterback’s concussion.
“Our office reviewed it with the [Bears] medical staff and it was properly handled,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. “The team followed the correct protocol.”
After any major injury, it’s standard for the league to review how a team handled it.
After Cutler was drilled by Dobbins — who was flagged for a personal foul — the officials reviewed the play, which happened late in the second quarter. Cutler didn’t miss a play and finished the first half.
“We had a break since the play was being challenged. Our trainers talked to him then. When I say concussion protocol, that’s a part of it. It’s not like he showed symptoms but we had a break in between. Our trainers talked to him, evaluated him, he was fine from there,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “Players in the huddle didn’t see anything wrong with him, at the time. Not just then, we just continued to talk to him all the way out, even through to halftime.
“When I say normal protocol for a concussion that’s what I’m talking about. We’re constantly talking with him. If you look at his play, it’s not like he was light on his feet or starry eyed, anything like that. We felt he was in control of everything, just like the rest of our players, at the time.”
Cutler, though, was ruled out at halftime and replaced by Jason Campbell.
From the league: “Once removed for the duration of a practice or game, the player should not be considered for return-to-football activities until he is fully asymptomatic, both at rest and after exertion, has a normal neurological examination, normal neuropsychological testing, and has been cleared to return by both his team physician(s) and the independent neurological consultant.
“A critical element of managing concussions is candid reporting by players of their symptoms following an injury. Accordingly, players are to be encouraged to be candid with team medical staffs and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion.”