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Referee sends Tyrod Taylor into concussion protocol after illegal hit despite his objections

The Bills quarterback was off the field for two plays and then returned at the end of the third quarter.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor was removed from Thursday’s game against the New York Jets by the officials to be evaluated for a concussion under the NFL’s protocol. Taylor was cleared, and after two offensive plays on the sideline, he returned to the game.

Taylor took an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit, which was hard enough to justify concerns about a concussion.

He objected to being removed from the game and had to be escorted off of the field by head official Ed Hochuli.

After he was evaluated for a concussion on the sideline, Taylor was cleared to return to the game. After the game, Bills head coach Rex Ryan said he "understands" the referee's decision to remove Taylor from the game, according to ESPN's Mike Rodak.

The officials acted swiftly with Taylor, and their reaction may have been influenced by Week 1’s controversial Thursday Night Football matchup between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos.

The NFL was widely criticized last Thursday night after Panthers quarterback Cam Newton took several shots to the head in the season opener. Officials in that game only flagged one hit on Newton, and the NFL issued fines to Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall and safety Darian Stewart.