Adam Thielen got pretty well smashed on an incomplete pass from Kirk Cousins in the third quarter of Thursday night’s Vikings-Rams game. Thielen had the ball, but Cory Littleton’s forearm and then Cory Littleton’s knee crashed into Thielen’s head and jarred the ball loose, and Thielen seemed like he might be a little groggy after the play.
Before the next snap, with the Vikings lined up over the ball, the referees whistled the play dead and announced a medical timeout before ushering Thielen to the sideline. And Thielen was pissed:
The NFL’s concussion protocol often fails, but it can be effective when it is administered properly. Like, for example, when a normally sure-handed receiver drops the ball after his head collides with a defender’s knee, and looks dazed after the play, and spotters think it might be a good idea to check him for symptoms. Thielen wasn’t real happy to get pulled from the game, but the whole reason to have independent spotters and a protocol is so the decision won’t be left up to people who have an immediate incentive to pretend nothing happened.
This one has a happy-ish ending. Thielen was in the evaluation tent for what seemed like 30 seconds, and was back on the sideline soon after, and returned to the game for the next Vikings drive, which ended like this:
That was Thielen’s first reception after the medical timeout. He’s having just a remarkable season: