It was a low-impact play in the open field, and not even the announcers noticed the concussion that might've ended Buffalo Bills quarterback Kevin Kolb's career.
On the Bills' second drive of Saturday's preseason game against the Washington Redskins, Kolb scrambled to his right and up the field for a first down before stumbling to the ground. Rookie linebacker Brandon Jenkins, who had been pursuing Kolb, tried to leap over the quarterback but wound up clipping the back of his head with a knee.
The sequence seemed like nothing at first, and Kolb was able to stay in the game for another handful of plays. But after the game, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News had some dark news:
Source tells me Bills concerned Kevin Kolb's concussion may be career-ending and they're proceeding with that in mind.— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) August 25, 2013
At least 3rd career concussion for Kevin Kolb. Hit didn't look serious, but source tells me response in locker room was disconcerting.— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) August 25, 2013
Yikes. The Bills wasted no time snatching up potential replacements for Kolb, signing Matt Leinart and trading for Thaddeus Lewis on Sunday. Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel is still on crutches after undergoing a knee procedure last week, and his availability for Week 1 is in doubt. Teams have to trim their rosters from 90 to 75 players by the close of business tomorrow, and if the Bills think Kolb is done, he's very likely to be out of a job. The business of football rolls on.
But watch the play again. Remember it the next time Roger Goodell changes the rules to demonstrate that he's serious about head injuries, that the risks of professional football lie in the dirty conduct of a handful of bad actors. There's no headhunting here. There's no "leading with the crown." There's no James Harrison. There's nothing the least bit notable about the play, except that it may have been the last of a quarterback's career.