Ethan Pocic playing through concussion shows NFL’s enhanced protocols can still have holes

The News Tribune

November 17, 2020

Ethan Pocic continues to be sidelined from the concussion he got two games ago — and played through.

The starting center’s unknown status for the Seahawks’ key NFC West game against Arizona Thursday night, and how he got there, shows the NFL’s enhanced concussion awareness and protocols still have potentially dangerous holes.

Those protocols can still be dependent solely on a player reporting he’s got one.

Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Pocic remains in the league’s concussion protocol. His fill-in at center for Seattle’s loss at the Los Angeles Rams last weekend, banged-up Kyle Fuller, might be starting for Pocic again Thursday against the Cardinals.

The NFL has a five-phase, return-to-play protocol for concussions it started in 2009 and has repeatedly modified since — including in 2018. That was months after Russell Wilson went right back off the sideline into a game at Arizona in 2017 after getting hit in the head. He missed only one play.

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