CLEVELAND - Normally, teams would rejoice at having more time off between games, but James Harrison's hit on Colt McCoy had two extra days to be looked at and discussed, adding another chapter of drama for the Browns.
Harrison picked up a one-game suspension from the NFL for the personal foul. Helmet-to-helmet contact is a major no-no. Harrison knows it -- he buried McCoy into the ground like it was spring planting season.
But the bigger question is: how did Colt McCoy return to to the game to take a snap just 4 minutes and 22 seconds later?
Take a look at the Standardized Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (The SCAT2): http://on.wews.com/vEp4wB
Take the exam yourself. It's hard to believe that the full test was administered in less than four minutes.
After watching the tape over and over again, the Browns worked on McCoy's left hand rather than checking for a concussion. As you watched Colt lay on the ground after the hit was moving, the medical staff attended McCoy's left arm and ask him questions.
In the two camera shots available to the folks watching on the NFL Network, McCoy was standing and team trainers were working on his arm. Wouldn't you expect him to be sitting on the bench if he had a concussion?
Prior to his interception to the Steelers William Gay, McCoy made two plays. One a hand-off to Montario Hardesty, and an incomplete pass where McCoy had the peace of mind to roll out of the pocket and try to to avoid a sack by tossing the ball out of bounds -- only to be called for intentional grounding. McCoy's presence on the field looked like a typical quarterback.
So when ESPN's Chris Mortensen came out and said the test was not administered, he called into question if the Browns followed procedure.
Put yourself in Head coach Pat Shurmur's shoes for a moment. You are trailing 7-3, to a team you know you must beat to show progress in your franchise. You have 4 minutes and 35 seconds to go in the game, and your starting quarterback tells you he is ready to go back in the game and you are in the red zone. He also says he was cleared to go back in the game. What are you going to do?
It is easy to start pointing fingers all over the place. After answering not one, but two media sessions where Shurmur has indicated that he was cleared to play and go back on the field, the answer is simple.
Why not just admit that the full procedure was not carried out? Why can't we just hear a little honesty for a change?
Also after Mortensen called the team out after the head coach had already said he was cleared to play, it was time for team President Mike Holmgren to stand up and talk for his entire staff. Even if he had to admit that protocol was not followed. Why was Shurmur was left to answer medical questions twice. I can understand questioning of a coach for not going for it on 4 and 1, but when a the franchise is being called out for wrong doing, it's time to hear from the man who is in charge.
So where are we now? We are still trying to figure out how the league will protect its players from concussions after talking about making it a priority.
You are watching a violent game, folks. Good luck trying to change the game where billions of dollars flow from collisions, and players know that being tough and playing through pain is the accepted norm.
Maybe the McCoy rule will be born, where any player who has helmet-to-helmet contact will be forced to take a SCAT2 test. Maybe we will see an independent neurosurgeon will be able to rule a player out of the game.
The McCoy rule may be born, but will it change the violent game millions of fans watch each week?