When Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage suffered an injury to his head on the field last month, it was expected that some serious attention would be paid by the NFL to the risk of injuries and inadequate safety measures in the game. However, it seems that this incident too is being brushed under the carpet. The risk of experiencing concussions after severe head trauma is very real in football. There are many negative outcomes of such injuries if the actual extent of damage is not ascertained immediately. For example, such trauma can lead to long-term effects such as poor concentration, depression and speaking problems.
Tom Savage’s Recent Head Injury
Tom Savage injured his head following a particularly intense tackle in a recent game, following which there were clear signs of twitching in his hands. Other signs of head injuries that should never be missed include dizziness, headaches, prolonged state of confusion, numbness, blurred vision and short-term memory loss. Both the association as well as the league issued a statement regretting the incident, but stopped short of stating any concrete steps that would be taken to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
What were the signs?
It was obvious that Savage had indeed experienced a concussion after being tackled by Elvis Dumervil. The impact caused Savage to roll on his back which flayed his arms in the air. He was taken to the medical camp but instead of being allowed to rest, he was soon back in the game. However, that was his last series and he has stayed away from the game ever since. The medical team claims that the due protocol was followed and that Savage was assessed for a concussion, but was found to be perfectly fit to resume the game. This kind of negligence could have been avoided had the medical team been shown the video footage of the incident in slow motion. It can be seen clearly that there was cause for serious concern given the way the action played out on the field.
We did hear a statement stressing the need for additional improvements to the protocol, but these were vague platitudes at best. For now, it does seem that those in the say have realized the importance of immediate symptoms whenever such an incident takes place on the field. Steps have been taken to ensure that a consultant is watching the game and is accessible to the medical team to inform them of any signs of distress.
Despite all these steps that have been taken, it is a worrying sign that no action has been taken against the Texans to discipline them. By all means, Savage should never have been allowed to return to the game after the video footage clearly showed his hands trembling after the tackle. It would only be fair if the coach Bill O’Brien would accept responsibility for this negligence and lack of concern for the wellbeing of his players.
What can be done?
This incident is just a single example of how unpredictable things can become on the field. It also shows that many a time the required support and attention is not available due to negligence of apathy. Consulting a good brain injury lawyer is the most advisable course of action to take in such cases, which is something that Savage should also do. Although he has tweeted that he has no complaints against the coach and we hear reports that the protocol was followed, no matter how deficient it was, an experienced brain injury lawyer can offer the best advice about whether and how an injured person can be compensated for the injury and subsequent distress.