CLEVELAND - ESPN reported that Cleveland Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur said quarterback Colt McCoy did not show signs of a concussion after taking a vicious hit in Thursday night's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the signs are not always immediately evident, according to one expert that studies concussions.
Dr. Christopher Bailey, a neuropsychologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, said sometimes an athlete will show symptoms right away, but often a concussion may be something that builds over time, particularly with exertion.
The symptoms tend to increase with physical activity. As the athlete's heart rate increases, it increases intracranial pressure. Dr. Bailey said many times when an athlete takes a big hit, the athlete may be stunned for a bit and continue to play, but won't realize he/she suffered a concussion for several hours.
"It's not all that uncommon to not feel great after the game, but then they go back to practice and they start running and they start exerting themselves again. That's really when they become more nauseous and dizzy and the headaches become more noticeable," he said.
Dr. Bailey said if an athlete sustains a second head injury while recovering from a concussion it can be catastrophic.