St. Louis Rams quarterback Case Keenum suffered a concussion during a game against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 22, but was not pulled off the field (video below).
"Promptly after the conclusion of yesterday's game, we began a review to determine the facts of the injury to St. Louis quarterback Case Keenum and why he was not removed from the game for the necessary evaluation by a team physician or the unaffiliated neuro-trauma consultant as required by our concussion protocols," the NFL said in a statement, notes ESPN.
NFLPA director George Atallah announced that the players' union is also investigating the incident. After Keenum's head was smacked to the ground by Ravens defensive end Timmy Jernigan, the quarterback staggered to stand up. The game was stopped momentarily, not for his injury, but for an offside penalty against Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil.
Rams trainer Reggie Scott ran on the field and briefly spoke to Keenum who stayed in the game. Keenum threw an incomplete pass on the next play, and was hit by a Ravens defender on the following play, causing a fumble. The Ravens recovered the fumble, went on to kick a field goal, and won the game 16-13.
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Rams coach Jeff Fisher was asked by reporters during a news conference if he considered taking Keenum out, but Fisher said he did not.
"We'll give Case a good week of practice, and we'll expect him to do better than he did today," Fisher added. "You can see he's mobile, he can move around, he can do things."
Keenum's concussion diagnosis was announced after Fisher's press conference. The Rams did not check Keenum until after the game, according to The New York Times. However, it was not missed by fans on social media who were outraged that medical personnel and the Rams allowed Keenum to keep playing.
There are independent spotters at games who are allowed to call medical timeouts, but the spotter failed to do so. Scott, who ran on the field to check on Keenum, was told by game officials to get off the field or the Rams would be charged with a timeout.
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Fisher later claimed that if he (or anyone else) had seen a replay of the injury, he would have taken Keenum out of the game. However, Keenum grabbed his helmet, and clearly had problems standing up after the play. The incident seemed obvious to people who were not even in the stadium.
“It was definitely suspicious the way he didn’t look right afterward,” Dr. Erin Manning, a neurologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, told The New York Times. “It was definitely surprising that they didn’t take him out for at least one play for a brief evaluation.”
Bernie Miklasz, a St. Louis sportswriter and radio host, called the incident “disgraceful” on 101Sports.com. He wrote that Fisher failed to have Keenum examined by medical staff, and follow the mandatory concussion protocol.