The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting a lot of attention for the way they've handled Ben Roethlisberger's concussion this week, but lost in the shuffle has been Ryan Shazier's diagnosis.
After the game's concussion spotter flagged Shazier for appearing woozy after a collision in the second quarter, Shazier apparently told the medical staff that he was fine and was trying to get back on the field Sunday in Seattle.
Head coach Mike Tomlin reportedly got involved to ensure that Shazier wouldn't try to sidestep a thorough examination.
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“You will listen to these doctors, and you’ll do it now,” Tomlin said, according to Dr. Richard Ellenbogen via Peter King of The MMQB. Ellenbogen, the co-chair of the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee was examining Shazier along with Steelers doctors.
Shazier was then sent to the locker room for further examination, and the medical team determined that Shazier wasn't quite right despite being able to answer all of the questions correctly during the assessment.
Ellenbogen called the developments around Roethlisberger and Shazier a good step forward a week after the system failed to detect Rams quarterback Case Keenum's concussion in Baltimore.
“The system worked,” Ellenbogen said. “This was a very good day for culture change. The team was all-in. The coach was involved, and he was fully supportive of what the medical people were doing. He couldn’t have been more supportive. Then we had a player self-report in the middle of an intense game, which is exactly what we want. He [Roethlisberger] put health and safety over the competition. Concussions sometimes can take a few minutes to appear, as in this case. Today the system worked. The humans worked.”