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Seahawks Become First-Ever Team Fined For Violating Concussion Protocol

Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NFL and NFLPA announced today in a joint statement that the Seattle Seahawks will be fined $100,000 for failing to properly apply the league’s concussion protocol after a hit on QB Russell Wilson in a Seahawks-Cardinals game on Nov. 9. This fine marks the first time that an NFL team has been disciplined for violating the concussion protocol since the league added specific punishments to its guidelines at the beginning of 2016.

The hit in question was a shot to Wilson’s chin from the helmet of Arizona’s Karlos Dansby, who got a flag for unnecessary roughness on the play. Wilson appeared to be hurt from the hit, and referee Walt Anderson sent him to the sideline to get checked out. Cameras initially showed Wilson refusing to be tested in the Seattle evaluation tent, and he only missed one play. Before Seattle’s next possession, Anderson again told Wilson to get checked out, and that time he did. Wilson passed the test, played the rest of the game, and was never diagnosed with a concussion. The $100,000 fine comes from the fact that Seattle initially allowed Wilson to return to the game without being cleared.


The consequences in this case are very light, with no lost draft picks, no suspensions for the coaching or medical staff, and a fine that’s not even a rounding error in the checkbook of Seahawks owner Paul Allen. The NFL and NFLPA will next decide on potential penalties for the Houston Texans, who played Tom Savage for an additional possession after a nasty hit that eventually got him pulled from the game with a concussion.

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