While NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he was "comfortable with the fact the players received appropriate treatment," questions have arisen about the handling of Bradley's injury. Mere minutes after collapsing on the field, Bradley was back in the game. Only at halftime was Bradley's injury diagnosed as a concussion.
The incidents raised questions not only about the NFL, but high school football as well. Wrote Alan Schwarz in the New York Times,
The Eagles said afterward that they did not permanently remove Bradley at the time of his injury — per new N.F.L. rules — because their sideline exam revealed no concussion, and also because no medical person saw either the hit Bradley took or his collapse to the turf.
Considering that doctors and trainers are well represented on N.F.L. sidelines and that the league has made concussion awareness an issue this season, the Eagles’ handling of Bradley’s injury raises a stark question: If a concussion this glaring can be missed, how many go unnoticed every fall weekend on high school and youth fields, where the consequences can be more serious, even fatal?
According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, only 42 percent of high schools in the United States even have access to a certified athletic trainer, let alone a physician, during games or practices. In some poorer rural communities, concussed players are taken to doctors with no experience with head injuries. Youth leagues with players as young as 8 and 9 rarely, if ever, have any medical personnel on hand; when a child gets hurt, a parent, assuming one is present, walks out on the field, scoops up the child and carries him or her off.
According to latest reports, while both Bradley and quarterback Kolb did not pass concussion testing Wednesday, Eagles coach Andy Reid has not ruled out either player for Sunday's game at Detroit.