Houston (CBS Houston) – Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said that wide receiver Andre Johnson was cleared and practiced fully on Friday after Johnson had to go through the NFL’s concussion protocol.
“I think he’s fine. He’s ready to go,” Kubiak said. “It’s my understanding that he’s totally cleared, yes.”
Johnson spoke with the media Friday afternoon and explained that the doctor that saw him Thursday wouldn’t necessarily label it as a concussion because Johnson never lost consciousness.
“I’m fine,” Johnson said. “I never lost consciousness at all. The only thing was that my head, when I hit the ground, my head slammed against the turf and everything was blurry and I had a headache, a real bad headache at the time. I never lost consciousness, but I was aware of everything that had happened. I told them exactly what happened when I got to the sideline. I knew exactly who hit me and whatnot.”
The person who hit Johnson was Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard who on Wednesday was fined $42,000 for his hit on Johnson in the fourth quarter of Tennessee’s 30-24 overtime loss to Houston on Sunday. Johnson believes Pollard’s hit wasn’t on purpose and explains that hits like that happen on any given Sunday.
“It’s part of football,” Johnson said. “It’s something that I know that happens. It’s part of the game. I signed up for it. I don’t really have a problem with it. Those hits happen. To be honest, I really didn’t see a big deal with it. It was a hit and that’s what he gets paid to do. The ball is in the air, I’m going for it to catch a pass and he did what he’s supposed to do. He’s trying to knock it loose.”
Johnson admitted he “hates to see guys get money taken away from them, but that’s just the way they (NFL) choose to deal with it.”
“That’s just something that you really can’t control,” Johnson said. “There are going to be plays where they are going to be bang-bang. There are plays where there are going to be head collisions. I think sometimes you have to look at it as did a guy really duck his head and try to hit the guy with the crown of his helmet.”
Johnson explained that “this was the first time” that he had concussion-like symptoms and is grateful for the new NFL protocol.
“I think that it’s great because when I first came in the league, they didn’t have that,” Johnson explained. “You take a big hit and you tell them you’re alright and you go right back in the game. I think the whole protocol thing, everything that you have to go through with the doctors and the different people you have to see, I think that is great because you really find out if a player is able to go back out and play.”
Follow Julie Takahashi on Twitter: @Julie_Takahashi
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