NFL Fines Seattle Seahawks $100,000 Over Russell Wilson Concussion Protocol Violation

Joint review with the NFLPA determines “there was a failure in the application of the protocol following the tackle of Mr. Wilson during the Seahawks-Cardinals game” on Nov. 9

Last Updated: December 21, 2017 @ 1:58 PM

The Seattle Seahawks are getting a lump of coal from the NFL this holiday season.

The team has been fined $100,000 for failing to keep quarterback Russell Wilson off the field while a concussion evaluation was performed on him in a Thursday night game against the Cardinals last month.

“The NFL and NFLPA have jointly reviewed the application of the Concussion Protocol to Russell Wilson.  The results of the joint review determined there was a failure in the application of the protocol following the tackle of Mr. Wilson during the Seahawks-Cardinals game on Nov. 9,” the league said in a statement on Thursday.

The Seahawks coaching and medical staff will also now have to attend remedial training regarding the protocol.

According to NBC Sports, the hit to the jaw in question came from Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby, after which Wilson left the game on the instruction of referee Walt Anderson. However, after sitting briefly in the medical tent, the 2013 Super Bowl champion grabbed his helmet and returned to the field.

The $100,000 fine is the maximum punishment for a first offense under the concussion protocol.

In a response, the Seahawks released a brief statement on Twitter saying they did not “knowingly disregard the Concussion Protocol. Any misstep was unintentional and the result of confusion on the sideline.”

Read the full statement below:

The NFL and NFLPA have jointly reviewed the application of the Concussion Protocol to Russell Wilson.  The results of the joint review determined there was a failure in the application of the protocol following the tackle of Mr. Wilson during the Seahawks-Cardinals game on November 9.

As a result, Seattle has been fined $100,000 and the coaching and medical staffs will be required to attend remedial training regarding the protocol. 

The results of the joint review determined that the protocol was triggered when Mr. Wilson was directed to the sideline for an evaluation after the referee, Walt Anderson, concluded that a medical examination was warranted.  Nonetheless, the required evaluation was not conducted and Mr. Wilson was permitted to return to the game without an evaluation.  Once it is determined that a medical examination is warranted, a player may only be cleared to return by the medical staff; Mr. Wilson’s return to the field without a sideline concussion evaluation was therefore in violation of the Concussion Protocol.  Subsequently the team medical staff did examine the player and clear him per the protocol.

As determined by the NFL and NFLPA, an immediate update will be made to the protocol instructing officials, teammates, and coaching staff to take players directly to a member of the medical team for a concussion assessment. The NFL and the NFLPA will continue to look at potential modifications to the protocols in an effort to keep players safe.