Jenkins ‘Clears Up’ Concussion Issue
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) – In a development that surely will not reflect well on the NFL’s current concussion policy, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins admitted he played more than a half of football “in a fog.”
Jenkins returned to practice Thursday after being cleared by an independent neurologist and spoke to reporters after the session, claiming he suffered the head injury in the second quarter of Sunday night’s win in Dallas after a one-yard run by the Cowboys’ Darren McFadden.
“It’s that old ‘you get your bell rung’ type of thing,” Jenkins said. “Nobody likes to say that. I kind of had an idea but my symptoms kind of went away so I kept it to myself.”
With the exception of some teammates no one else noticed the potential for the concussion, not the Eagles coaching staff nor the independent concussion spotter, who has the power to stop the game and force a player to go through the game day protocol. Jenkins, meanwhile, didn’t volunteer any information despite feeling like “something” wasn’t right.
“I just kind of kept it to myself, which I probably shouldn’t have done,” he admitted. “I kind of fought through the game.”
Jenkins had one of his worst efforts of the season, especially when trying to cover Cole Beasley in the slot, but no one on evidently put two and two together.
“I think they all trust my own judgment, so nobody really knew anything or asked me anything from that standpoint,” Jenkins said. “Because I was still able to kind of digest the plan. We’re still making adjustments, I’m still making calls, so nothing would have really kind of tipped them off.”
Some of Jenkins’ teammates, however, did know something was up.
Fellow safety Walter Thurmond told the Philadelphia Daily News said there was a little self-monitoring going on by the rest of the defensive backfield and cornerback Byron Maxwell urged Jenkins to think about his family.
The fact that Jenkins is hardly the only player who will try to feign things in order to stay on the field undercuts a system that strives to put player safety above all else.
“Looking back on it, I shouldn’t have done (it),” Jenkins said. “I know the coaching staff and the medical staff wasn’t too happy afterwards. It was ill-advised.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen