Last night, Jarius Wright was in for 23 of 25 plays the first team offense was on the field, catching two passes for 16 yards. What is more important than those numbers, though, is what Dan Wiederer, interpid Star-Tribune Vikings beat writer, tweeted out a little while ago:
Vikings WR Jarius Wright suffered a concussion Friday. Will have to pass NFL testing protocol before returning to practice.— Dan Wiederer (@StribDW) August 17, 2013
So how big of a deal is this? It's potentially huge. The NFL has gotten a lot stricter on concussion treatments, and that's a good thing. No longer are concussions diagnosed and treated by the team doctor or training staff. Starting this year, there is an independent neurotrauma specialist assigned to each game, and they are responsible for looking at players that might have suffered a concussion.
You can read the concussion assessment form the NFL uses right here, if you're so inclined. Gone are the days of "what day is it and now get back out there". The assessment, as you can see if you open the link, is now fairly comprehensive and takes about eight minutes to complete on the sideline.
If that independent doctor diagnoses a concussion, that player is treated by either that doctor or another independent doctor, and is given a series of tests, or protocols. Only when the player has successfully passed those tests can he be cleared to play again.
No word on how severe Wright's concussion is, but I don't think it's unreasonable to think the Vikings could keep him out of the last two pre-season games, just to be on the safe side.
For the time being, one would assume this bumps Cordarrelle Patterson to the primary slot guy when the Vikings go three wide. And for when the Vikings go four wide, this could give someone like Stephen Burton, Joe Webb, or one of the other guys at the bottom of the depth chart extra reps and another opportunity to change some minds.
But it could also be one more setback for a first team passing offense that has struggled more than they have found success this pre-season.
Only time will tell.