There’s going to be some talk this week about whether Andy Reid and the KC Chiefs did the right thing by allowing Alex Smith to come back into the game after he was first checked for a concussion against the Colts. He passed that initial concussion test so the Chiefs put him back in.
The more I think about it, the more I I really don’t have a problem with that because I don’t want Andy Reid or any other football coaches acting like doctors. If an expert, a doctor, says he’s fine, then I put more stock in what that expert says. Why would Andy Reid’s medical opinion be stronger than a doctor’s?
Just like I don’t think the NFL should be acting like law enforcement agents on their “investigations”, I don’t think coaches should be acting like doctors.
Part of the reason for that is that this whole process is can be very confusing. Andy Reid is busy coaching an NFL game and shouldn’t be tasked with determining a player’s medical situation.
Exhibit A on this being confusing: Andy Reid wasn’t sure which test Alex did or didn’t pass.
Here’s Andy after the game...
“He had passed with flying colors the NFL concussion protocol without any problem at all,” Reid said of the first concussion test. “From there we put him back in. Then he got another hit there and obviously didn’t return. Again, though, he passed the NFL concussion protocol after the second one so we’re trying to follow all the rules. We’re not trying to sneak him in. Nick came in and was doing a pretty good job. If I had any inclination, I would have made sure to keep him out. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20 here. He’s doing well now. We’ll see how things go here.”
Reid went on talking about other injuries before a reporter asked to clarify what he said. Did Alex pass the second concussion test too?
“And he passed it the second time, yes,” Reid said seemingly confirming what he said earlier.
Once again, a reporter asked to clarify that Alex passed the second test and does not have a concussion. Because that’s not what we were told.
In the video you hear some background noise, Reid stops and looks to his left. Talking presumably to a team spokesman (I wasn’t in the room), Reid is told Alex did not pass it the second time.
“Oh, he didn’t do it the second time,” Reid said to the person off camera. “Oh, I thought he did. So he didn’t the second time.”
Reid then said: “There are a million different steps it goes through before it gets to me.”
Gee, can you see where this gets confusing?
Now if you want to blame Big Red for something, let’s start with that read option...