The Seattle Seahawks advanced to the Super Bowl with a wild win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had an ugly first half, throwing three interceptions, as his team fell behind 16-0. They would storm back to win in overtime, but there were a lot of question marks about his first half. The issue was most pronounced due to the hit he suffered at the hands of Clay Matthews.
Wilson was drilled on a crack back block following an interception. It was a brutal block by Matthews, and Wilson took a nasty shot. He left the field with the offense, but was back on the field four plays later after an Aaron Rodgers interception. Wilson had already made plenty of mistakes at that point, but after that Matthews hit, he looked particularly bad.
There was some discussion about it on Twitter, and San Francisco 49er right tackle Anthony Davis weighed in. Given his own concussion earlier this season, his tweet was not entirely shocking:
So they're gonna act like they didn't see R. Wilson get a concussion on that Clay Matthews crack back block?— Bam Davis (@BamDavis_) January 18, 2015
As the teams came back from halftime, Erin Andrews reported that there Russell Wilson did not go through the concussion protocol, and that the doctors spoke to him for all of two seconds. Andrews suggested that this meant Wilson did not have a concussion. Because after all, if you can't trust an NFL doctor in the middle of the NFC Championship Game, who can you trust?
I changed the channel as soon as the game ended, and apparently missed this:
Did Russell Wilson get "dinged" after Clay Matthews hit to helmet? QB smiled: "No, I wasn’t hurt." FOX crew laughs knowingly. Hilarious!— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) January 19, 2015
Concussions remain a major issue with the NFL, even as the league claims to be trying to improve player health. Obviously there are plenty of situations where players will not take themselves out, even with a concussion. Plenty saw Alex Smith lose his job because of that, and it does not make it any easier to protect players.
Furthermore, I know plenty of 49ers fans will not be concerned about a Russell Wilson concussion, and in fact, plenty of football fans in general are not concerned about concussions and player well-being. When Anthony Davis was missing games, I saw numerous instances of people calling him soft (usually in worse terms).
Russell Wilson very well may not have had a concussion. The Matthews hit comes in just under the jaw, although we see Wilson's neck snap right. But if there was no use of the concussion protocol after that kind of hit, what's the point of having it? I suppose to some extent I might be spitting into a hurricane on this one, but it strikes me as kind of important.