Dr. Allen Sills [NFL Chief Medical Officer]: “The independent certified athletic trainer spotters and unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants monitoring the game were carefully observing the play and the players after the hit. In the judgment of these independent medical experts, and based upon their direct observation and the available video, neither player seemed to exhibit behavior or symptoms suggestive of concussion.”
According to the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz had actually been cleared to return to last Sunday’s Wild Card Round game in Philadelphia versus the Seattle Seahawks, but chose to leave the game on his accord.
Wentz had just absorbed a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit from Seahawks star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, in a headshot that many around the league considered a dirty hit, including Fox Sports NFL rules expert Mike Pereira, who called it a 'cheap shot.'
Eagles backup quarterback Josh McCown told reporters after the game that Wentz had told him to “stay ready” moments after the play happened, hinting that Wentz knew he wasn’t coming back.
On Thursday, Sills called Wentz’s decision ‘heroic’ in a remark to the Associated Press:
"I think what Carson Wentz did is heroic and should be highlighted as an example of how an unbelievably skilled and competitive athlete understands the seriousness of concussion injury and is willing to honestly report it and receive the care that he needs independent of his desire and drive to continue to participate in the game.”
Many fans were critical of Wentz for missing another playoff game, even going so far to call him ‘injury-prone’, but Sills vehemently disagreed with that notion, and further explained why it was important for Wentz to disclose an ailment that might not have been noticed on video or in real time.
"I would vigorously disagree. Video identification of (symptoms) is one part of concussion identification. You're not going to see things like amnesia or confusion on video, and that's why all the other elements of detection are really important. You have to have people talking to the players," Sills said. "You want to make the players and their officials and coaches and everyone aware of the symptoms because you're not always going to see it on video, but yet there will be signs there if you're looking at everything."
The NFL surprisingly elected to not fine Clowney for the season-ending hit.