The shocking reason as to why Jacksonville Jaguars running back Bernard Pierce blocked a Tampa Bay Buccaneers player during one of the Bucs' returns has been revealed. He had a concussion and was allowed to keep playing.
On the face of it, it looked like a play you would see on a blooper reel. During a Buccaneers punt return, the running back decided to block a Bucs player instead of just turning around and tackling the ball carrier. It quickly made the rounds on the internet and everyone started laughing.
But we shouldn't be laughing. Instead, we should be quite concerned, as Pierce actually had a concussion diagnosis revealed after the game. Not so funny now is it?
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said according to the BigCatCountry.com via Pro Football Talk: “It’s not a good play at all. When I saw it I couldn’t believe it, but I know he’s in the concussion protocol. I know after the game he had concussion symptoms. That’s where I’ll leave it at that, the play itself if you watched it.”
The standard of medical teams across all 32 NFL teams is fantastic, but the fact no one on the Jaguars staff or medical team recognised Pierce was suffering from concussion symptoms is unacceptable.
Imagine if instead of blocking, he was running the ball and he got hit on the head by a member of the opposition. In a normal situation, that's enough to pull you out of the game for at least one play. But for someone that has a concussion, that could cause serious brain damage. Enough to end your career.
Think about that just for a second. While it's funny to laugh at his mistake, it actually wasn't his fault. It was the Jaguars team fault for putting him back out there after not analysing him properly. The blocking was the minor problem on that play. The AFC south team is lucky his injury didn't become worse from being back out there when he shouldn't have been.