Concussed Jenkins Played Game ‘In A Fog’
Malcolm Jenkins revealed that he played more than half of Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys with a concussion, apparently unbeknownst to his coaches.
He was cleared by an independent neurologist Thursday morning and returned to the practice field. Speaking to reporters following the afternoon training session, Jenkins described his mental state as he continued on after sustaining a head injury in the second quarter.
“Just a little bit of confusion. Just like in a daze…not a daze, but in kind of a fog,” he said. “I felt like a rookie again, like the game is moving really fast and you can’t find where to put your eyes. As the game went on it felt better. Fourth quarter I didn’t really feel anything, just kind of knew something wasn’t right.”
The veteran safety said he did not notify the coaching staff. A league spokesman backed that notion up in an email to Birds 24/7.
“We confirmed with the team medical staff that no one (coaches, players or medical staff) knew [anything] about it and did not detect any symptoms,” he said. “We also confirmed that the ATC spotter upstairs did not see anything to prompt a call down to the medical staff. Players are constantly reminded that they share in the responsibility of managing this injury and must report any symptoms they have of a concussion. It is common for symptoms to occur on a delayed basis.”
Some of his teammates, though, apparently knew what was going on.
WalrThurmond told me DBs talked to Jenkins, monitored during game, didn’t tell coaches. Said Byron Maxwell urged MJ to think about family
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) November 12, 2015
“When you’re talking about concussions, it’s a very serious thing,” said Thurmond on Wednesday when talking about Jenkins’ decision to play this week/going forward. “A person like that who has a family, has kids and stuff like that, longevity, to be able to be there for them is more important than anything.”
When did you first know about it?
“Ah,” Thurmond responded, “I’m not sure. He just seemed like he was very coherent within the situation. He was still attention to detail in what he was doing and stuff like that. It’s really hard to say.”
The concussion occurred during the second quarter on this one-yard run by Darren McFadden, Jenkins said.
Jenkins acknowledged that the injury probably affected his performance the rest of the way. He was asked if anyone on the staff questioned whether there was something wrong.
“No, not really,” he said. “I think they all trust my own judgment, so nobody really knew anything or asked me anything from that standpoint. Because I was still able to kind of digest the plan. We’re still making adjustments, I’m still making calls, so nothing would have really kind of tipped them off.”
Jenkins said this was the first concussion of his career.
“I wasn’t going to put myself in harm’s way. I felt like I was good enough to compete. I was aware of everything. I wasn’t forgetting things, I didn’t black out or anything,” he said. “It’s probably something that, looking back, I shouldn’t have done. The coaching staff and medical staff weren’t too happy with me afterwards. So yeah, that was ill-advised.”
Since late in the 2011 season, the league has had independent certified athletic trainers (ATC spotters) at every game to look out for potential head injuries. The NFL’s website details the spotter’s role in-game.
The injury video review system uses NFL Vision technology and the broadcast feed to allow the ATC spotter to watch the feed and the play on the field. From high above the field, the spotter, with help from an injury video technician, looks for potential injuries, with a special focus on concussions and other head and neck issues.
When the spotter spots a potential problem — either in real time or after reviewing replays — he or she tells the technician to tag and label the video. Blake Jones, director of NFL Football Operations, estimates that this happens about 10 times per game, noting that some of those may fall into the “better safe than sorry” category or be marked for post-game review.
When the spotter deems action is required, he or she can call down to the sideline to speak with the team physician or head athletic trainer. According to an Eagles spokesman, the spotter did not contact the team during the game.
“We talked to him afterwards about that, that he has to keep the coaches and the medical staff informed, and that his health and safety is the number one priority for us,” said Chip Kelly.
“The player has to be able to tell us where he is, too. There is some responsibility that goes with him. And Malcolm knows. We’ve talked about it. I’ve talked to him. He’s heard from his mom, he’s heard from his wife. His long-term health is the most important thing for us, and we’ll continue to monitor him as we go and see if he’s able to play on Sunday.”