Mike Sando: Teams are being more careful with concussions in accordance with guidelines adopted in 2009.
Those guidelines included the following statement:
"Once removed for the duration of a practice or game, the player should not be considered for return-to-football activities until he is fully asymptomatic, both at rest and after exertion, has a normal neurological examination, normal neuropsychological testing, and has been cleared to return by both his team physician(s) and the independent neurological consultant. A critical element of managing concussions is candid reporting by players of their symptoms following an injury. Accordingly, players are to be encouraged to be candid with team medical staffs and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion."
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll recently reiterated the team's intentions to err on the safe side.
"I don’t know how we’ve been in the past, but we’re going to do the right thing," he said. "We're going to be very respectful of these situations. So, we’re going to do the exact right thing, make sure we take all the time frame; it’s just the right way to do it."
The San Francisco 49ers held out former starting guard David Baas for an extended period with what they called a minor concussion. The 49ers have also held out Travis LaBoy with what they are calling a minor concussion (LaBoy has a history of concussions).
"It’s just really interesting right now, because when you start talking about the concussions and things like that, there’s just so much information now and it’s such a new thing that I think that they’re still trying to discover what the heck is a concussion," 49ers coach Mike Singletary said following the team's practice in Monterey. "I just think back right now, when we were playing, you would just go out there and play and then they would put some smelling salts in front of you, and you would just smell that and go back out there and play if you can walk. You hold up two fingers and you say, 'Two-and-a-half,' and you’re close enough, let’s go. That’s pretty much how it was."
Singletary said he never suffered a concussion during his Hall of Fame career as a linebacker for the Chicago Bears. He has also said players who lower their heads tend to suffer concussions. For years, NFL teams have displayed posters in locker rooms encouraging players to see what they hit. Those signs were intended to help players avoid spinal injuries.
Bottom line: We can expect players with concussions -- even so-called mild ones -- to miss more practice and game time than they would have missed years ago. That's a frustrating thing for the Curry and the Seahawks because they would like to see him improve, but it's probably the right decision to hold him out.