San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea suffered a concussion in Sunday's game, leaving after the third play of the second quarter. It was fairly apparent as he walked off that he had suffered a concussion, and the 49ers officially announced it later in the quarter.
Here is a GIF of the play in which he was a hurt. I have not figured out how to add arrows and circles to a GIF, so bear with me. Bethea is in the safety spot on the far left side of the GIF. We see him come up, and we see Cody Latimer go to block him. It does not appear to be an overly vicious hit, but that's the thing with concussions. It does not take a vicious blow, and in this case, it just looks like Bethea's head took the blow from Latimer. Sometimes it's just bad luck in where the hit came.
Following the game, Bethea sent out this tweet:
I'm doing well and I appreciate all of the concern!!— Antoine Bethea (@ABethea24) August 18, 2014
The 49ers have two more preseason games, which likely gives Bethea plenty of time to get back to 100 percent. He will need to go through the NFL's concussion protocol before he can return to the field. The protocol requires a player be free of symptoms both at rest, and following exertion. This must be verified by a team physician AND an independent neurological consultant. Stephania Bell broke it down last year:
In order to return to play, however, [Player X] will have to meet the NFL league guidelines. He will have to be free of symptoms both at rest and with exertion; his neurocognitive (ImPACT) tests will need to return to baseline; and he will need to be cleared by both team physicians and an independent neurological consultant.
Although the hit was not huge, we cannot say whether or not the concussion was a "bad" one. Hopefully it was not, but we'll find out as the protocol moves along.