After the hit on Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, the NFL officials have got to get better


distance Kansas City Chiefs Remaining relatively healthy for the first nine weeks of the season — at least by NFL standards — Week 10 brought bad news. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and cornerback Chris Lammons were taken out Last Sunday’s victory 27-17 against the Jacksonville Jaguars With a concussion – As offensive tackle, Andrew Willie left the game with a sprained elbow.


Lamons and Smith-Schuster entered the NFL’s concussion protocol, while he was She mentioned that Willy was going to have an MRI on his elbow. We expect to know more about the condition of the three players when the team returns to training on Wednesday.

If Willy wastes time with his injury, reinforcements could come from offensive tackle Lucas Niang, who is starting his third week of training with the team after tearing his patellar tendon in 2021. That would suit Schedule of other players returning from this injury.

Wide receiver Mikul Hardman missed Sunday’s game with an abdominal problem after being out of training all week — but will likely return for the Week 11 rematch against the 5-4 Los Angeles Chargers.

A closer look at Smith-Schuster’s concussion


Photo by David Youllett/Getty Images

Smith-Schuster was injured in the second quarter after being hit by a fearsome hit from safety Andre Sisko, who appeared to be making a targeted helmet-to-helmet hit.

After the strike, Smith-Schuster displayed an immediate nervous response known as a fencing stance, which occurs after a sudden trauma to the brainstem. You may remember that earlier this season, Miami Dolphin Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a similar reaction After what appeared to be repeated concussions.

It should be noted that prior to Sunday’s game, Smith-Schuster was previously diagnosed with three concussions during his NFL career.

Adding to the frustration Chiefs fans feel (and players) that officials initially threw a penalty sign after Cisco’s hit – but then picked it up. No penalty was called on the play.

After the match, referee Brad Rogers defended the decision.

“After discussion in the field,” Rogers told reporters, “The two officials came and determined the defender had prepared to crash and hit shoulder to shoulder. They didn’t feel it was a misuse of the helmet.”

When will enough be enough?

In recent years, the league has consistently said it is focused on the safety of its players, and is imposing tougher penalties and fines to protect them. But this was another example where these rules were not applied as they should be.

The penalty flag should not be raised. if there was No shadow of a doubt That a penalty kick must be called for, the referee must err on the side of the player’s safety. neural fencing response Start As a result of a shoulder-to-shoulder injury. NFL officials need to be trained to know this — so they can, in the moment, make the right call.

Although a penalty in this case would not have prevented an injury to Smith-Schuster, it would have reduced the likelihood of an injury like him happening again. This incident—along with others like what happened with Tagovailoa—show that the NFL still needs to do for player safety.

Perhaps the next step should be for calls made for player safety to be reviewable from the booth.

Smith Schuster look

Fortunately, the Kansas City wide receiver was able to get off the field — though he needed some help doing so. He and Lammons will now undergo a concussion protocol, which consists of five phases progressing from symptom-limited activity (and rest) to light aerobic exercise — eventually graduating to non-contact soccer drills before returning to play.

As the players progress through the protocol, the symptoms cannot be repeated; Otherwise, the player must return to the previous stage. Players must also pass a neurocognitive test in each stage before moving on to the next stage. On Wednesday, we hope to learn more about Smith-Schuster’s – and Lammons’ – position on protocol.

Given Smith-Schuster’s injury history – and the neurotic response he has displayed on the field, which indicates a higher level of brain trauma – we probably shouldn’t expect him to be available for Sunday’s game. A longer period of rest may be necessary, allowing the brain to recover and the inflammation to subside.

As always, every decision a player makes to return to play must be made with player safety as the most important factor. None of the players should be hastily returned before the medical providers responsible for their care have determined that they are ready.

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