NFL launches inquiry into concussion procedures for Rams’ Keenum

St. Louis Rams quarterback Case Keenum's sustained a concussion late in Sunday's loss at Baltimore.
Tommy Gilligan/Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL launched an investigation as to why St. Louis Rams quarterback Case Keenum was not evaluated for a possible concussion in the waning minutes of Sunday's game at the Baltimore Ravens.

Keenum never left the field after he was taken down by Baltimore's Timmy Jernigan and slammed the back of his helmet on the turf. Keenum immediately grabbed his helmet and was unable to get to his feet at first, staying on the ground on his hands and knees.

“Promptly after the conclusion of yesterday’s game, we began a review to determine the facts of the injury to St. Louis quarterback Case Keenum and why he was not removed from the game for the necessary evaluation by a team physician or the unaffiliated neuro-trauma consultant as required by our concussion protocols,” the NFL said in a statement released Monday. “We are continuing that review today, which includes discussions with the Rams and their medical staff, the ATC spotter, the game officials, our medical advisors and the NFLPA. In the meantime, prior to this week’s games, we will reinforce with all involved the need to ensure that these injuries are properly identified and addressed in a manner consistent with our protocols.”

Keenum remained in the game, throwing an incomplete pass before he was strip-sacked two plays later, with the fumble leading to the Ravens' last-second winning field goal. Following the contest, the Rams announced Keenum sustained a concussion but the topic was never broached in St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher's postgame press conference.

The league has an independent ATC spotter assigned to each game who has the power to call for a medical timeout to ensure that a player is properly evaluated. Under NFL rules, the spotter can only stop play with clear visual evidence of two very specific criteria:

1. A player who displays obvious signs of disorientation or is clearly unstable; and

2. If it becomes apparent that the player is attempting to remain in the game and not be attended to by the club’s medical or athletic training staff.

MORE NEWS: Want stories delivered to you? Sign up for our NFL newsletters.