Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott took a gnarly hit to the head while running for a first down in the first half against Washington on Sunday. Cornerback Greg Stroman leveled him before he could pick up the first down and the Cowboys punted.
"That’s a concussion," CBS broadcaster and former Cowboys QB Tony Romo commented when he first saw the hit. "He’s going to be done. He doesn’t know where he is."
During Washington's possession, Prescott was checked by the team's medical staff before returning to the field without missing a play. But now the team is getting called out because of video showing Prescott apparently using smelling salts right after he was evaluated for a concussion. A medical professional called attention to the clip on Twitter:
After Nowinksi's condemnation, another sports reporter mentioned how Cowboys broadcasters claimed Prescott was getting his hand checked. To date, we've seen no literature supporting the idea that ammonia from smelling salts helps with a hand injury.
A British Journal of Sports Medicine report from 2006 explained how harmful smelling salts can be as a masking agent after head trauma like the kind Prescott suffered:
"More serious head injuries may often masquerade in the early stages as a minor head injury and inexperienced carers may falsely assume that an initial improvement, thought to be due to the beneficial effects of smelling salts, may well mask the development of more sinister complications."
More so than other sports, the NFL needs to get a concussion diagnosis right. They're still a huge byproduct of the contemporary game, even with the roughing the passer penalty pissing off those grizzled fans who moan in discontent about how gassy they get on game day. Maybe Will Smith was delusional in thinking Concussion would make people reevaluate what they did with their Sunday's in the fall, but he wasn't wrong to wonder. To date, football remains the most popular American sermon on Sunday (and Monday and Thursday).