Sterling Shepard admits waving off sideline after concussion

Charean Williams
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The NFL and NFLPA are reviewing why Sterling Shepard was allowed to stay in the game after struggling to get up after a hard hit in the season opener. Shepard admits his role in the breach of protocol.

“They tried to send somebody in for me and I just kind of waved him off,” Shepard said after Friday’s practice, via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ Advance Media. “It was ultimately my decision, I guess you could say, to stay in.”

That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. A medical spotter is charged with signaling to the referee to take a player out at the first sign of a hit to the head.

The hit Shepard took from Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown was bad enough that Giants teammates Jon Halapio and Kevin Zeitler pointed at Shepard on the ground to draw the sideline’s attention for a substitution and check-up. But no one overruled Shepard.

“It took me a few plays, but I eventually started feeling OK,” Shepard said. “Yeah, I was pretty sure that it was a concussion.

“It was a that-moment decision. I felt like I wanted to stay in to help my boys out.”

Shepard played 67 of 68 offensive snaps. He was diagnosed with a concussion afterward and missed the Week Two game.

Doctors cleared Shepard from concussion protocol this week, giving him the OK to return Sunday.

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