Jacksonville Jaguars, Running Back Bernard Pierce

Jacksonville Jaguars, Running Back Bernard Pierce may have played with a concussion during their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend.  Pierce displayed some atypical behavior during a play where he blocked a Bucs player instead of making a tackle in punt coverage.

Pierce did not play in the second half of the game due to a hamstring strain in the first half, but did not say anything about concussion symptoms to doctors. He later said that he did not know when the concussion occurred. After being placed in the NFL concussion protocol it was unable to be determined if he suffered the concussion on a single play or if it was the result of multiple blows to the head.

“Since concussion symptoms may take up to 72 hours to develop, deciphering if symptoms are secondary to a concussion can be tricky,” says Dr. DeGiorgio of the incident.
There were no reports of anyone from the Jaguars’ sideline noticing unusual or symptomatic behavior from Pierce. The concussion spotter did not report any potential issues either. 
Dr. DeGiorgio notes, “The NFL is fortunate to have concussion spotters in the press box, and concussion specialists at every game. Despite all the safeguard measures in place, concussed athletes can still go undetected. I think this is a great case to remind us that teammates and coaches may see a change in an athlete’s reaction time or just overall focus/awareness before the individual player has obvious symptoms.

It is ultimately, everyone’s responsibility to be cognizant of the players around them, and as we often hear... ‘If you see something, say something’


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