Anthony Richardson Injury: What Does NFL Concussion Protocol Say on Return?

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In the world of sports, injuries are unfortunately democratic. Whether you’re a star player or a benchwarmer, you can get sent to the sidelines by a bad break. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson is an unfortunate example of that reality.
After scoring a touchdown, the rookie self-reported concussion-like symptoms. He left the game and entered the NFL’s concussion protocol.
The return-to-play process, however, can be something of a mystery to fans. Let’s delve into the concussion protocol and see what it can tell us about Richardson’s future.
Anthony Richardson of the Indianapolis Colts walks off the field after being injured in a September 10 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The quarterback suffered another injury on Sunday, entering the NFL’s concussion protocol. Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Richardson’s Injury: What We Know
When it comes to head injuries, things aren’t always obvious. While anyone can notice a player limping after pulling a hamstring, the effects of a concussion are nonlinear and often invisible.
Given that caveat, the chain of events around Richardson’s concussion seems rather well established. The quarterback probably got hurt in the first quarter of Sunday’s contest, as he absorbed a hit from Houston Texans safety M.J. Stewart en route to the end zone, according to ESPN’s Stephen Holder. Richardson’s head hit the turf, and, while he celebrated with his teammates and even stepped back under center, things weren’t right.
He informed the trainers about his problem and left the game. Gardner Minshew stepped in and led the Colts to victory.
And while it’s lost in the context of his injury and what that means from a sporting perspective, Richardson does deserve credit for realizing something was wrong and removing himself from the game. That choice goes against an athlete’s competitive instincts, but it could have been a life-altering decision.

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