Nyheim Hines was trying to get up after being hit hard in the third quarter of the game on Thursday night and was struck by a ball, the Colts coaching staff instantly saw the same thing that everyone else did.
Hines was shaky, struggling to maintain his equilibrium. The team had to support him straight.
According to the NFL’s concussion protocols the symptoms Hines displayed were indications warning signs of “gross motor instabilities.” According to the NFL as well as the NFLPA are in the stage of changing the protocols that will cause gross motor instability to be an immediate exclusion from the game and not just the symptom that triggers the need for a concussion assessment, but the changes haven’t been implemented or completed as of until now.
The Colts coaching staff have never even thought about the possibility of allowing Hines to return to the field.
“We noticed him wobbling immediately,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said. “All coaches were standing on the sidelines (saying)”He’s out, he’s gone.'”
Hines was declared out during the game prior to the beginning of the first quarter.
However, the running back in his fifth year who has never been absent from a game during the course of his NFL career, was eager to play again after Indianapolis entered the locker room after halftime.
“Nyheim apologizes for me,”” Reich said. “He was feeling great and was eager to get back and play. He told me, ‘I’m good, but I’ve been much more severely hit than this.’ … This is the kind of athlete and fighter he is.”
Reich was a part of the NFL for quite a while. He understands how difficult to miss an entire game because of injuries.
It’s a fact that the Colts head coach is also aware of the potential risks Hines could be taking when he returned to the game. These risks were clearly laid out the moment Dolphins player Tua Tagovailoa sustained concussions during the night of Thursday Night Football a week ago just four days after showing an excessive amount of motor instability when his helmet struck the ground on Sunday.
Tagovailoa’s body shifted into a fencing pose His fingers became turned in strange ways. Concussions that are repeated pose a serious risk for players, and the Tagovailoa incident led to the NFL along with the NFLPA to make modifications to the protocols.
Reich believes that the burden falls on more than that of physicians and the NFL’s own concussion spotters.
“That’s the reason why there’s been a number of discussions regarding, as coaches we need to be ethical since you must protect players from being a victim of themselves,” Reich said. “That’s an excellent illustration of an incident in which you can see him take an injury like he did because you know what kind of player he is and wants to return to the game. He certainly seemed to be comfortable talking to his coach. The whole thing seemed normal, but you need to act in a responsible manner.”