BOSTON (CBS) — Former Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin made his return to the Toucher & Rich on Friday morning, and after getting reacquainted with his old pals, Colvin discussed the unique situation that unfolded Thursday night with Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Taylor was forced off the field by referee Ed Hochuli after getting sandwiched between three Jets defenders late in the third quarter. Taylor underwent concussion protocol procedures on the sideline and later returned, only missing two plays.
Colvin, who played in the NFL for 10 seasons, said he “definitely” played through “minor” concussions, dating from high school all the way through the pros.
“I distinctly remember in high school being hit or hitting someone and hearing a ringing sound. So I think in my thought process, that’s where ‘getting your bell rung’ came from,” he said. “But as you grow and as I’ve gone on through collegiate and professional sports, that has happened to me and literally, if it’s a bad situation or a bad concussion where you get knocked out, then you typically fall down, you lay down like you see a lot of these guys. But there are times when you can get hit, and you just feel a little woozy, your vision’s blurred a little bit. And if you’ve been in the game long enough, been in the system long enough, you can probably get by or get through a play, because you’re just going to push a guy, or you’re just going to get an MA — missed assignment — for that play. And the coach is going to be like, ‘Hey, why were you doing that?’ And you probably don’t even remember. Nine times out of 10, if that was the next play after you took a big hit, you probably just forgot what to do.
“So I think certain situations come up if you’re an outside linebacker or defensive end or defensive tackle, when you get wham blocked or kicked out or a lead block by a fullback on a linebacker, those are definitely situations where the head-to-head contact creates a dilemma of, ‘Man, I just got dinged a little bit.'”
As for the Taylor situation in Buffalo, Colvin said the concussion testing looked to just be a set of doctors going through the motions. If the testing were serious, Colvin argued, Taylor would have missed more than just two snaps.
“Last night, I saw that, and it was a joke. It literally was a joke to me. I said they’re pulling this kid because of what happened to Cam Newton,” he said. “Why would they send him back in the game two plays later? And he forced himself not to take the concussion protocol, the whole system is flawed. They didn’t take his helmet away from him.”
Colvin explained that such matters will always draw more attention when they involve the quarterback instead of, say, a defensive lineman. And when a quarterback is taken off the field, the impact is measurable. For that issue, Colvin proposed a concussion timeout.
“There has to be some kind of concussion timeout, where they go to commercial break, where teams have one concussion timeout per game. Because that [testing on Taylor] was literally like the Rooney Rule. ‘We’re just going to interview black guys just to make sure we cover interviewing a black guy for a head coach.’ They just took that kid out of the game so that there wasn’t any more backlash because the quarterback took a helmet-to-helmet hit to the head and nobody took him out of the game,” Colvin said. “The kid was sitting over there on the bench arguing with the specialist, he tried to get up and go back in the game — which again, if you get a minor concussion, literally two or three seconds later, you’re back up and running, and you’re fine. But that’s the progression of the CTE disease that you see in guys that have taken their lives and the reason why the NFLPA and the former players are up in arms about what the NFL has hidden about concussions and the helmets, et cetera.”
Ultimately though, Colvin sympathized somewhat with a league that probably can’t prevent the inevitable.
“You’re playing football,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that just can’t be changed, unless you just eliminate tackling, period, and we just go play flag.”
Listen to the full interview below, which includes Colvin’s insights on supplement use by NFL players, below.