Pop Quiz: A player gets laid out by a vicious and borderline illegal hit. Less than five minutes later, the player returns to action after a cursory exam, despite the league’s mandate that all players must pass a neurological test before going back on the field. The next day, the player learns he suffered a concussion on the play and risked serious mental and physical disability by returning.
Who is more deserving of criticism: The guy who laid the player out or the player’s team for letting him go back on the field, in violation of league rules, because they felt winning a game was more important than the long-term health of their man?
If you answered the latter, then I’m with you. James Harrison‘s shot heard ’round the world has shaken up the NFL in more ways than one. Most directly, we now have the precedent set for repeat offenders being suspended when fines don’t seem to work. However, it’s the indirect result which may alter the game even more greatly in the months and years to come. And it isn’t even Silverback’s fault.