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NFL will investigate how Seahawks handled Russell Wilson’s injury on ‘Thursday Night Football’

SB Nation logoSB Nation 2017-11-10 Jeanna Thomas

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson went into the medical tent to be checked for a concussion after taking a hard hit to the chin. He returned to the field after one play. Now the NFL will investigate the Seahawks to see if the team followed concussion protocol, according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert.

“Well, I got smacked in the jaw pretty good there,” Wilson said after the game. But he insists he was not concussed.

What happened? Wilson left the field after the hit from Karlos Dansby. He went into the medical tent to be evaluated for a concussion, but didn’t stay in there long enough for the door to even close.

He returned to the field immediately.

A referee eventually pulled Wilson from the game and made him get checked by the Seahawks medical staff. Wilson was cleared to return.

What does the concussion protocol say? Any player who shows signs of a possible concussion must be removed from the game to be evaluated by the team’s physician and the league’s independent neurotrauma consultant. If that examination suggests that the player may have a concussion, the player will be taken to the locker room for further evaluation.

If a player is cleared, he can return to the game. But the team must continue to monitor him for symptoms.

What does this mean for the Seahawks? If the league finds that the Seahawks didn’t fulfill its obligation to Wilson under the concussion protocol, the team will face a fine of up to $150,000. Their medical staff may also be forced to undergo further training.

The league is under constant scrutiny for being lax about player safety. The concussion protocol is its best effort to protect players from life-altering head injuries.

The NFL revised its penalties for violating the concussion protocol before the 2016 season. The $150,000 fine and additional education for staff members are penalties for a first offense. If a team circumvents the protocol again, the fines increase.

If the NFL finds that there were “aggravating circumstances” or that the protocol was ignored for the sake of competitive advantage, teams face even stiffer penalties, including the loss of draft picks.

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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