HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — For all the criticism aimed at Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates thinks two other parties deserve scrutiny for how Tom Savage’s concussion was handled in last week’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Referees, and the NFL’s concussion spotter.
“That’s their job,” Yates said. “The spotter, the guy’s supposed to be looking at it on film and the ref that was standing two feet away from Tom (Savage) looking at him when it happened. The whole team, all the coaches and the medical staff, the unaffiliated neurological consultant, we’re all 50 yards away. We had no idea that it happened.”
It was as bad a moment for the NFL’s concussion protocol as there has been since its inception. Savage taking a big hit from 49ers pass rusher Elvis Dumervil, and laying flat on his back in the end zone, with his eyes in the back of his head, and fingers twitching.
But neither the refs nor the spotter saw what happened, and pulled Savage from the game. Savage was instead checked at the behest of Texans team doctors, and after passing concussion tests initially, and reentering the game for a series, was tested again and ultimately determined to have suffered a concussion.
Yates said there should be more responsibility on referees and the spotter to keep players safe after big hits to the head.
“There was one guy that had a pretty good look at it and it was that ref that was standing over him. Obviously that has to be addressed because that’s a scary situation for anybody and I hope that Tom gets back as quick as possible.”
Yates also defended O’Brien and team doctors, saying that none of them knew the severity of Savage’s injury until later.
“I know for a fact that nobody on the sideline, coaches, players, medical staff, nobody had any idea that happened,” Yates said. “We didn’t know until we saw the video. So, all the blame that’s being passed around, it is what it is.”