Blog Entry

How is Case Keenum day-to-day with a concussion?

Posted on: September 13, 2010 5:05 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

As mentioned earlier, Case Keenum suffered what's being called a mild concussion and is, according to Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, "day-to-day" and "improving dramatically." On its face, that's good news for Houston fans, as Keenum is their superstar and a big key to victory this weekend and going forward.

But that all obscures a larger question. If Keenum really did suffer a concussion, how in the world is he just "day-to-day"?

First of all, let's agree to retire the term "mild concussion." There's no such thing. Certainly, there are concussions with fewer visible effects than the crushing hit Tim Tebow took last year that sent him to a hospital, full vomit bag in hand. But even if a player suffers what would usually go down as a "mild concussion," that is still a brain injury, and needs to be treated accordingly. Sure, Keenum's condition has improved dramatically between Friday and today, but that should be a sign of concern, not relief: that means there was dramatic improvement that needed to be made.

Our colleague Eric Freeman wrote a story about the Philadelphia Eagles' own concussion problems yesterday, and in multiple instances, the Eagles sent concussed players (quarterback Kevin Kolb and linebacker Stewart Bradley) back onto the field before halftime, leading to this sickening quote from Andy Reid:


Coach Andy Reid said both Kolb and Bradley were initially cleared by the medical staff on the sideline. It was decided at halftime to sit them.

"They were fine," Reid said. "All of the questions they answered with the doctors registered well, but as it went on, they weren't feeling well. So we took them out."

Let's be clear: Bradley and Kolb were not fine. Both visibly struggled to leave the field immediately after their hits. Worse, upon actual examination by team doctors today, both men were sent home after failing concussion tests. So if Reid says the two men were fine on Sunday but not today, then whatever gameday protocol the Eagles followed (to a T!) is recklessly insufficient.

But this isn't about the Eagles. This is about the Houston Cougars, potentially threatening Keenum's mental well-being years down the road in pursuit of, tops, two weeks' worth of stats for the quarterback. With all the news about that has come out recently about the (surprisingly prevalent) deleterious effects of repetitive brain trauma on former football players, it is within a football players' best interests to ease back into play over the span of weeks, not days. Rushing Keenum back--and, let's be honest, calling him "day-to-day" on a Monday means he's playing on Saturday--seems like an insanely reckless decision


Since: Sep 15, 2010
Posted on: September 15, 2010 12:37 pm

How is Case Keenum day-to-day with a concussion?

Keenum was never diagnosed with even a mild cuncussion!  He was fine after the game joking with teammates.  Ok Doc Jacobi.  By the way, the ONLY reason Kolb didn't go back in the game is because he was playing like crap and Vick was giving the Eagles  a major spark.  Smarten up.

Since: Aug 21, 2007
Posted on: September 14, 2010 8:35 am

How is Case Keenum day-to-day with a concussion?

Concussions are broken into three groups by our medical experts--Grades I, II, and III, with Grade III being the most serious.  In a Grade I concussion, the symptoms pass within 15 minutes.

It is just as fair to call a Grade I concussion a "mild" concussion as it is to call a first degree burn a mild burn. The symptoms pass quickly and the patient's prognosis is excellent, with periodic medical observation usually ending within the first 72 hours. I don't agree with you that we should retire the term "mild", unless you suggest offering a detailed description of the difference between the three different grades of concussion every time the injury is discussed

Since, according to you, "this is about the Houston Cougars", Houston is home to the world's largest medical center--and it is just 5 minutes from the UH campus.  The medical care and advice provided to the Cougars football team is world class.  Probably only a small handful of schools in NYC or LA have similar access to such advanced care or treatment options.  People travel from around the world to be treated for a great variety of injuries, ailments, and illnesses here, so if Keenum is cleared to play on Saturday, I suspect he will really have recovered from his injury.

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