In his latest Monday Morning Quarterback, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has a one-one-one with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, wherein they discuss the infamous Colt McCoy-concussion situation from 2011.
With regard to the league’s Athletic Trainer Concussion-spotting program (ATC), the NFL also plans on furthering the use of a tablet that could possibly be implemented as an additional means of analyzing a player who may or may not have sustained a head injury. When asked if the McCoy situation would have been different had this process been established last season, Goodell had the following:
[McCoy] was examined, but they were focusing on his hand, because that’s what he was complaining about. There are two or three injuries on that one play that happened in different places … I have to go back and look, but I’m quite certain we had the ATC spotter when the Colt McCoy hit happened. What was happening though was the doctors were in looking at him [at his hand, not his head], so the ATC spotter said, ‘Well, he’s being evaluated, so that’s fine.’ What was the fallacy in it is that they were evaluating the wrong thing. What we’re going to do now is to say regardless of whether you see them being evaluated, you are to speak to them and you are to tell them that there is head-to-head contact and here’s the play and look at it. You would have seen the Colt McCoy hit and would have said, ‘Forget his thumb now. Let’s focus on if he had any type of injury to his head.’ … He would not have gone back in after three or four plays. One of the things we’re learning about concussions is sometimes the symptoms don’t occur for several minutes. We don’t know about the brain. It may just not be apparent for some period of time and that’s another complicating factor to this.
Just last week, McCoy told SI’s Dan Patrick that he did not recall the James Harrison hit that would subsequently end his season. Goodell and King would go on to discuss the ramifications of the recent death of Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau as well as veteran linebacker and John Carroll University alum London Fletcher stating that there should be mandatory mental evaluations for all retired players.