Why could Matt Schaub return so quickly?

September, 23, 2012
9/23/12
7:04
PM ET
Matt Schaub has critics who question his toughness.

They should watch and rewatch what unfolded in the third quarter today in Denver.

Schaub got absolutely crushed by a pair of blitzing Broncos. Linebacker Von Miller arrived first, with safety Joe Mays a beat later. They took Schaub, who’d let a pass for Andre Johnson go, off his feet with hits to his chin and sent his helmet flying off his head.

On the ground, his hands on his uncovered head, things didn’t look good.

The two Denver players were flagged for late hits and Schaub got up pretty quickly considering what he’d just absorbed. T.J. Yates came in for him and handed off while Schaub, his ear bleeding, yelled at trainers and equipment men, demanding his helmet back.

On a day with a ton of highlight material around the league, the shot on Schaub is going to be replayed a lot and for a long time.

If he’s not tough, I sure don’t know how he didn’t miss more than one play.

But toughness probably shouldn’t be our primary concern in the modern era of head trauma assessment. Making sure he’s not playing with a concussion should be that concern.

Can such complex things be determined that quickly now? Or does an important player still retain a certain level of influence to override what seems like an obvious and necessary protocol to determine if a guy's concussed?

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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