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Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Defends Decision On Colt McCoy; League Will Get Involved

Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur acknowledged that quarterback Colt McCoy likely has a concussion at his Friday press conference. Shurmur also defended the team’s decision to send McCoy back into the game after suffering a vicious hit from Steelers linebacker James Harrison, according to Mary Kay Cabbot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

According to Shurmur, the Browns did their due diligence to determine whether or not McCoy was showing the signs of a concussion after the hit. Shurmur said that McCoy did not have symptoms and was cleared to return by Cleveland’s training staff. Shurmur’s quotes as reported by Fox Sports Ohio:

We go through the strict protocol to evaluate whether there are concussion-like symptoms.

If he would have shown symptoms of a concussion then I wouldn’t have put him back in the game. It would have been out of my hands anyways because I would have been told he can’t go back in the game.

The quarterback did not exhibit any signs of a concussion until after the game, according to Shurmur, hence the request that reporters not shine their lights on McCoy during his post-game press availability.

It’s a dicey situation for the Browns. The team came under fire following the game from Colt McCoy’s father, Brad. He criticized the team’s handling of the situation, noting that McCoy had signs of a concussion following the hit.

Shurmur expressed empathy for Brad McCoy’s concerns and said that he would be reaching out to his quarterback’s father.

League spokesman Greg Aiello said today that the NFL would be looking into the matter, according to Tony Grossi of the Plain Dealer. The NFL will “discuss it with the team,” per Aiello.

With an angry parent and a league sensitive to how concussions are handled, the matter is unlikely to just fade into the background for the Browns.

Many throughout the league were already questioning whether or not McCoy is the answer at quarterback in Cleveland. This incident and a deep quarterback class in the 2012 NFL Draft should only add fuel to the debate.