NFL clears Bears handling of Jay Cutler on Sunday night
While Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins argues that the NFL should pass on fining him for hitting Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in the helmet on Sunday night, the league is reportedly investigating another part of Cutler’s night.
Cutler remained in the game, throwing an interception a few plays later and returning for another series before halftime. He wouldn’t return to the game after being diagnosed with a concussion during halftime. The timeline of the Bears’ decision making has caught the eye of the league and Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports that the league will look into how they handled Cutler.
The immediate thought is to connect the dots to the Colt McCoy situation with the Browns last year, when McCoy remained in a game after taking a hit to the head that resulted in a concussion. Without all the details, it’s hard to make those connections but it is another sign of how difficult it can be to deal with concussions during games. Players can hide symptoms in order to stay in the game, as Chiefs Brady Quinn did recently, and there are not neurologists on the bench to examine players after hits like the one Cutler took on Sunday night, so it remains a work in progress.
We’ll wait to see what other details from Sunday night come to light before big discussions about what the Bears could and/or should have done differently. And, more importantly, what can be done to get injured players out of games more quickly in the future.
UPDATE 12:57 p.m. ET: The NFL has cleared the Bears’ handling of Cutler.
“Our office reviewed it with the [Bears] medical staff and it was properly handled,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. “The team followed the correct protocol.”