Jay Cutler and Alex Smith continued to play after hard hits
The big “Monday Night Football” showcase next week could feature a quarterback matchup of journeyman Jason Campbell of the Bears vs. untested Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers. Not exactly the creme de la creme of the NFC.
Why? Concussions, of course. Twenty-five percent of NFL games Sunday saw a starting QB leave with a concussion.
Two were Chicago’s Jay Cutler and San Francisco’s Alex Smith, whose teams play each other next Monday. Both stayed in the games Sunday for several plays after what appeared to be head-rattling hits. Smith even threw a touchdown pass while playing with blurred vision before he departed, according to coach Jim Harbaugh.
The NFL looked into the Cutler and Smith cases — and Philadelphia’s Michael Vick, the third quarterback who got a concussion this weekend — and came away satisfied that the proper protocol was followed.
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Another noteworthy player, Bills running back Fred Jackson, took a late hit to the head in a loss at the New England Patriots.
He was examined Monday — a day after showing what coach Chan Gailey called “concussion-like symptoms” on the flight home. Gailey said Jackson will miss the game Thursday against Miami.
Cutler will need to pass neurological and psychological tests and be cleared by both his team doctors and an independent neurological consultant before he can return. The same goes for defensive end Shea McClellin, who left early in the game with a concussion. But unlike Cutler, he immediately showed symptoms.
Vick, meanwhile, was diagnosed with a “pretty significant” concussion, coach Andy Reid said. Reid wouldn’t rule Vick out for the game Sunday at Washington. Rookie Nick Foles would play if Vick doesn’t.
PITTSBURGH — The Steelers have parted ways with troubled rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu.
Ta’amu, a former Washington Husky, was chosen by the Steelers in the fourth round of the NFL draft but has yet to play in a game. He was suspended two weeks without pay last month following a run-in with police in the city’s South Side neighborhood that resulted in more than a dozen charges, including multiple felonies.
• The Falcons released Ray Edwards after a lack of production from the DE who signed a five-year, $30 million deal, including $11 million guaranteed.
• The NFL said the 76-yard punt return by Denver’s Trindon Holliday against Carolina should have been ruled a touchback, not a touchdown, because, in an early celebration, he let go of the ball before crossing the goal line. In a somewhat related note, Carolina coach Ron Rivera announced special-teams coordinator Brian Murphy was fired.
• Yahoo! Sports is apologizing for a site outage that left thousands of fantasy football players complaining of last-minute lineup problems Sunday.
• Hoping to squelch a report he would be interested in coaching the Cowboys if Jason Garrett gets fired, Mike Holmgren denied he is pursuing a future in Dallas.
• Texans defensive-line coach Bill Kollar did not travel home from Chicago with the team because of a possible blood clot. Coach Gary Kubiak said that his tests Monday “came out good” and he’ll return home Tuesday.
• The Jaguars have signed LB Greg Jones and released WR Anthony Armstrong. A sixth-round draft choice by the Giants in 2011, Jones played in all 16 games as a rookie.
• The Packers placed OL Bryan Bulaga on the injured list. Bulaga started the first nine games this season and injured his hip Nov. 4 against Arizona.
• The Lions have released CB Alphonso Smith, who returned to the team last month at a time when they were desperate for help in a banged-up secondary.
• The Chiefs have placed DE Glenn Dorsey on injured reserve with a calf injury and added DB Neiko Thorpe to the roster.
|Player, position||Team||Injury, prognosis|
|Jay Cutler, QB||Bears||Concussion, under evaluation|
|Alex Smith, QB||49ers||Concussion, under evaluation|
|Michael Vick, QB||Eagles||Concussion, under evaluation|
|Fred Jackson, RB||Bills||Concussion, out for Thursday|
|Ben Roethlisberger, QB||Steelers||right shoulder, undergoing tests|
|Kenyon Coleman, DE||Cowboys||Torn triceps, out for year|
|Elvis Dumervil, DL||Broncos||Left shoulder, no tear|
|Jerraud Powers, CB||Colts||Toe, out for season|