After QB Robert Griffin III suffered a concussion in the third quarter of the Washington Redskins loss to the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday, the Redskins announced that Griffin had been "shaken up." It isn't clear exactly who on the Redksins made that announcement, but it looks like it might cost the Redskins big-time. Per Jay Glazer:
Redskins are facing a HEFTY fine from the NFL for handing of RG3 injury when they said last week he was "shaken up." NFL want teams to immediately acknowledge a head injury to prevent concussed players from getting pushed back on field
The Redskins have already been admonished by the player's union:
“I spoke to [Redskins team physician] Tony Casolaro,” Thom Mayer, the union’s medical director, said in a telephone interview. “I’m not sure who used the term ‘shaken up.’ But he assured me it wasn’t him. It certainly wasn’t Tony. That’s not a medical term.”
UPDATE: The Redskins say they have not been notified of any punishment coming from the NFL.
The question now is what sort of punishment the Redskins will receive. If it is just some more of Dan Snyder's money, I could not care less and I suspect most Redskins fans feel that way. However, if the Redskins are going to be penalized by losing draft picks, the way the New Orleans Saints were as a result of the "bounty-gate" investigation, that's another matter. The Redskins have no first round picks in 2013 and 2014 as a result of the trade with the Rams to acquire Robert Griffin III, so losing any other draft picks would be a serious blow to the future of the team.
Another question I have is why the Redskins are going to face a "hefty" punishment from the NFL while the Browns were not punished for putting QB Colt McCoy back on the field last year? And why were the Lions not punished when they allowed WR Calvin Johnson, who suffered a concussion during a game in week four, to go back into the game when the player himself says he had a concussion? Neither team alerted anyone about the concussions and the players went back into games after suffering the head injury. The Redskins didn't get the announcement correct and that's a problem, but RG3 was, correctly, not permitted to return to the game. So it appears as if the Redskins handled the situation better than the Lions and Browns did and yet they, not the Lions or Browns, are facing a "hefty" punishment from the NFL.
I understand the NFL is touchy about concussions these days because they are facing a gigantic class action lawsuit from thousands of ex-players who allege the league and its teams knew or should have known the long-term health implications of concussions, but deliberately kept that information from the players. And if the NFL is going to bring the hammer down on teams for relatively slight infractions in this area, I can live with that. But we do need some consistency in the application of punishments or the rules will continue to trip up teams and baffle the fans.