Joe Flacco suffered a season-ending injury Sunday, but the injury to Rams quarterback Case Keenum was more controversial.
Keenum suffered a concussion with just over a minute left to play, when he was sacked by Ravens tackle Timmy Jernigan. The back of Keenum’s head slammed into the ground, he grabbed his head, and he was momentarily unable to get up, looking obvious dazed.
Yet, Keenum remained in the game and he was not immediately examined, nor was play halted, despite the NFL’s concussion protocol. The NFL spotter in the press box did not buzz down to the officials, asking them to remove Keenum. The officials did not halt play so that Keenum could be examined. Keenum was not removed from the game by the Rams’ medical staff. On Monday, the NFL issued a statement saying it would continue to investigate what went wrong.
Here it is in full:
"Promptly after the conclusion of yesterday’s game, we began a review to determine the facts of the injury to St. Louis quarterback Case Keenum and why he was not removed from the game for the necessary evaluation by a team physician or the unaffiliated neuro-trauma consultant as required by our concussion protocols. We are continuing that review today, which includes discussions with the Rams and their medical staff, the ATC spotter, the game officials, our medical advisors and the NFLPA. In the meantime, prior to this week’s games, we will reinforce with all involved the need to ensure that these injuries are properly identified and addressed in a manner consistent with our protocols."
Ravens’ fans will remember Sunday’s game because of season-ending injuries to Flacco and Justin Forsett. But Sunday’s game left the NFL and the Rams with plenty of questions to answer. Keenum was not protected the way he should have been from potentially suffering further injury.
Story was updated at 2:15 p.m. to include the league's statement.