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Football players aren’t always going to agree with measures designed to protect their health.
One of the most recent concussion rules put in place by the NFL is that a spotter in the press box could call down to officials to stop play and pull a player out if there’s a possibility he had a concussion. Sometimes that can come at an inopportune time.
In the third quarter of a high-scoring game and the Vikings trailing 28-20, play was stopped on third down. Officials came to get Adam Thielen out of the game, because the spotter wanted him checked for a concussion.
Thielen was not happy.
Adam Thielen had to come out on a key play
On the previous play, Thielen went low for a catch and took a knee to the head from Rams linebacker Cory Littleton. Thielen was slow to get up and Fox replays showed him adjusting his helmet. He stayed in the game.
The Vikings went up to the line for their third down play when whistles blew. Thielen seemed surprised he was being taken out of the game on a key play.
Fox color commentator Troy Aikman said on the broadcast that he thought it was the right call.
Safety measures not always popular with players
Thielen wasn’t happy to be coming out, and he probably went over the line a bit with his protest to officials.
He yelled, he gestured, he even seemed to throw his mouthpiece. Officials showed a lot or restraint to not throw a penalty on him.
The Vikings, without one of their best receivers on the field, threw incomplete with Thielen out of the game and had to punt. There’s no question the spotter’s decision to call down to the field put the Vikings at a disadvantage on a key play.
Fox showed Thielen on the sideline, with his helmet, out of the medical tent, still looking angry he was pulled out. The concussion test did not last very long. And Thielen seemed to have some validity to his complaint, considering on the Vikings’ next drive he caught a long touchdown.
The NFL is trying to help improve safety for its players, and sometimes it results in controversy. The helmet rule and the expanded emphasis of the roughing-the-passer calls have been two huge stories in the NFL this season. Sometimes players are not happy about the safety measures. Thielen surely wasn’t.
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