Independent neurologist resigns following RG3 controversy
NEW YORK — The independent neurological consultant who reversed course on Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III’s post-concussion playing status has resigned and been replaced as the team’s concussion doctor.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday that Robert Kurtzke left the consultant program operated jointly by the league and the players union.
McCarthy said Kurtzke will stay on to continue to monitor Griffin’s status and determine when he can be cleared to play.
A message left by the AP at Kurtzke’s office Saturday was not immediately returned.
Abraham Kader is the new NFL-NFLPA independent neurological consultant assigned to the Redskins, McCarthy said.
The Washington Post first reported Kurtzke’s resignation and continued involvement with Griffin’s case.
Last month, Griffin missed Washington’s exhibition game at the Baltimore Ravens because of a concussion in the Redskins’ previous game, at home against the Detroit Lions on Aug. 20.
Two days before the Aug. 29 game against the Ravens, the Redskins announced Griffin had been cleared by a doctor to play. The next day, though, about 24 hours before kickoff in Baltimore, they changed direction and said Griffin would be held out of the game.
At the time of the reversal, the Redskins sent out a news release quoting Kurtzke, who said: "We had anticipated yesterday that the patient would be cleared for full participation in game play this weekend. However, upon further scrutiny today of the neuropsychology data, I agree with the neuropsychologist that he should be held from game play this weekend."
The next week, Redskins coach Jay Gruden — who had said in February that Griffin would be the team’s starting quarterback this season — named Kirk Cousins the QB for 2015. Gruden said that decision was not because of Griffin’s head injury, but because Cousins earned the job with his play in the preseason.