Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy (12) holds his hand after being hit by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison, not pictured, during the fourth quarter of an NFL Football game Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 14-3. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today to discuss his team's 14-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here are some of the highlights:
Shurmur said quarterback Colt McCoy began to exhibit symptoms of a concussion after the game. Steelers linebacker James Harrison was penalized for roughing the passer when he used his helmet to hit McCoy in the face mask with 5:38 left in the fourth quarter. McCoy was replaced by Seneca Wallace for two plays. Three plays after McCoy returned to action, he threw an interception in the end zone with 3:11 remaining. After the Browns flew back to Cleveland early this morning, a team spokesman said McCoy did not have a concussion. However, Shurmur said, "he's got the symptoms, and we're proceeding like that's the case (that he has a concussion)." After the game, McCoy said he hurt his left hand when he was hit by Harrison. Shurmur said McCoy's hand is bruised, but the injury shouldn't keep McCoy sidelined. The Browns' next game will be on the road Dec. 18 against the Arizona Cardinals (5-7).
The NFL will talk to the Browns about the way they handled McCoy's situation. "We will discuss it with the team," league spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an e-mail. Shurmur said the Browns used the correct protocol to determine whether McCoy had a concussion. "We go through the strict protocol to evaluate whether there's concussion-like symptoms," Shurmur said. "So Seneca was in the game for two plays. I was told that Colt could go back in the game. He came up right next to me and said, 'I'm ready to roll.' So he went back in. ... I can assure everyone that we followed the protocol." When asked if he's been assured by his medical staff that they went through the proper procedures, Shurmur said, "Absolutely. We followed the guidelines strictly and so I'm very confident that that happened." When asked how the Browns will be penalized if they violated rules about handling concussions, Aiello wrote, "We are not going to speculate on that. It is premature."
McCoy would not have re-entered the game if the Browns had discovered McCoy had a concussion, Shurmur said. "If he would have shown symptoms of a concussion, then I wouldn't have put him back in the game," Shurmur said. "It would have been out of my hands anyways 'cause I would have been told (by the medical staff) he can't go back in the game. ... I definitely don't want to put a player out there that's putting himself at risk if we know it." Earlier in the game, tight end Benjamin Watson and rookie fullback Owen Marecic suffered concussions and were ruled out. "I feel very confident that if (McCoy) wasn't able to play, we would've stopped him," Shurmur said. ... "I have a lot of compassion for our players."
Shurmur said wide receiver Josh Cribbs has a strained groin and will be re-evaluated Monday. Right guard Shawn Lauvao suffered a sprained ankle, and right tackle Tony Pashos has a sore left ankle, Shurmur said.