TJ Watt Takes Ezekiel Elliott Knee to the Head, Leaves Game, Returns, and Then Gets Checked For Concussion

TJ Watt Takes Ezekiel Elliott Knee to the Head, Leaves Game, Returns, and Then Gets Checked For Concussion

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots played on Thursday Night Football in Week 14. On the Patriots’ first drive of the game they moved right down the field and scored a touchdown, possibly aided by the fact that Pittsburgh’s star linebacker T.J. Watt missed most of the drive after Ezekiel Elliott kneed him in the head.

Watt immediately left the game. As noted by Mike Florio — and confirmed by Kaylee Hartung during the broadcast — Watt was never checked for a concussion. He simply left the game and had his jaw checked by trainers and then left alone.

Watt returned on the next drive as Amazon’s broadcast showed him using smelling salts before running onto the field. The Patriots went three-and-out and punted. After another commercial break, Al Michaels told viewers Watt was headed to the concussion tent to be evaluated.

So what exactly were the Steelers’ trainers doing in the first place? Where were the NFL’s famed concussion spotters? Why was Watt allowed to return to the game in the first place? Even if he really had just hurt his jaw, how can anyone justify him playing before being checked for a concussion?

Watt was still not ready to start the Steelers’ next defensive drive, but eventually returned. Whatever the truth is about how his head felt, this was another dangerous misstep by the NFL.



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