Seahawks fined $100K for not following concussion protocol with Russell Wilson
The Seattle Seahawks have been fined $100,000 for failing to properly adhere to the NFL's concussion protocol in an incident involving quarterback Russell Wilson last month.
A joint review by the league and its players union found the Seahawks did not properly administer the protocol, leading to the hefty fine, while the team's coaching and medical staffs will be required to attend remedial training.
The NFL and NFLPA made a joint statement on Thursday, having reviewed how Wilson was treated after he was sent from the field by the referee after a hard tackle during the Seahawks' encounter with the Arizona Cardinals on November 9.
NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said on Thursday that Wilson was removed from the game by referee Walt Anderson, but turned over to Seahawks coaches and not the team's medical staff, which was a "clear violation" of the concussion protocol.
The statement concluded that: "The results of the joint review determined that the protocol was triggered when Mr. Wilson was directed to the sideline for an evaluation after the referee, Walt Anderson, concluded that a medical examination was warranted.
"Nonetheless, the required evaluation was not conducted and Mr. Wilson was permitted to return to the game without an evaluation.
"Once it is determined that a medical examination is warranted, a player may only be cleared to return by the medical staff; Mr. Wilson's return to the field without a sideline concussion evaluation was therefore in violation of the Concussion Protocol.
"Subsequently the team medical staff did examine the player and clear him per the protocol."
The league and players union said an immediate update will be made to the concussion protocol that instructs officials, team-mates and/or coaching staff to take a player directly to a member of the medical team for a concussion assessment.
The NFL and the NFLPA will continue to look at potential modifications to the protocols in an effort to keep players safe, the joint statement added.
A statement released by the Seahawks read: "We accept the findings of the NFL and NFLPA joint investigation in the Seahawks-Cardinals game on November 9.
"We did not knowingly disregard the Concussion Protocolo. Any misstep was unintentional and the result of confusion on the sideline."