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Cliff Avril: Not finishing Super Bowl sucked, but glad docs pulled me out

Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks

Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks

Michael Zagaris

In the third quarter of the Super Bowl, Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril took a blow to the head and was forced to the sideline so that doctors could evaluate him for a concussion.

Avril wasn’t allowed to return to the game, something that former Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said was a factor in the Patriots’ fourth quarter comeback and ultimate victory because Avril and Michael Bennett were having success against the New England offensive line. Avril reflected on the end of the game at home in Georgia recently and said that he was happy with the doctors’ decision even if he wanted to be on the field.

“It was real disappointing,” Avril said, via the Macon Telegraph. “All of us are competitors; all of us want to be out there to help our team win in any kind of way. For me not to be able to finish one of the biggest games you’ll ever play in, it sucked. But at the same time, I’m glad the docs decided to not put me back in. Concussions aren’t anything to play with.”

The NFL approved a new injury timeout rule this offseason to give certified athletic trainers working as spotters the ability to stop a game so that a player who may have suffered a concussion out of the game for evaluation. That rule wouldn’t have applied to Avril in the Super Bowl, but it would have applied to Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. Edelman, who wound up scoring the game’s final touchdown, never left the game after a shot to the head, something Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay cited as “part of the issue” that led the league to put the new rule into effect for the 2015 season.