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NFLPA Will Investigate Fusco Concussion; Listed As Questionable For Sunday

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Did the procedures in place to recognize a possible player concussion fail?

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

For those of you that aren't aware, for each game the NFL has what's called an independent ATC Spotter, and their job is to watch the game specifically for players that might suffer a concussion during the course of the game. They even have the power to call a timeout to have a player removed from the game if the player looks to be suffering from concussion like symptoms.

That process looks like it might have failed on Sunday during the Lions game, and the NFLPA will conduct an investigation to see what went wrong, if anything. On the last play of the third quarter, LG Brandon Fusco had helmet to helmet contact with a Lions player, and staggered to the ground. However, he got up, returned to the huddle, and stayed in the game. Eric got a couple of shots from the game and put them on Twitter that shows the play in question:

And here's another look:

I'll admit, I missed this during the game, and if your eyes were flowing with the play, it wouldn't have been too difficult to miss. And after watching the replay, Fusco stumbled, but it could have been mis-interpreted by the ATC spotter to be a leg or foot injury. It happened pretty fast, and Fusco recovered, waved off trainers, and returned to the huddle.

Whatever happened, hopefully this was just an honest mistake by the ATC spotter, and not an intentional attempt to keep a player in who was injured. To me, this doesn't seem to be a flagrant attempt to circumvent the rules, and hopefully the investigation will, at the end of the day, strengthen the procedures used to help identify a player that's possibly been concussed.

As for Fusco himself, today he was a full participant in practice and has officially been listed as 'questionable' for Sunday by the team. Head coach Mike Zimmer also said that the team will know before Sunday whether or not Fusco will be cleared to play.