The Michigan State football medical staff has been under fire this past week after clearing Alante Brown to play.
The first play of the 2023 season was a forgettable one for Michigan State football fans. Central Michigan kicked off and one of the two return men for the Spartans, Alante Brown, squared up for a block, but was hit in the side of his head and tensed up before falling to the ground.
It was a scary sight.
Brown was moving, so that was a good sign from the get-go, but it was clear from the replay that his injury was serious. His fists immediately clenched when he was hit by a Central Michigan defender and he fell face-first into the ground.
After being on the field for a few minutes, the training staff put him on a stretcher and carted him off the field. That seemed to be the end of Brown’s day and a tough first game as a Spartan. However, the Nebraska transfer was spotted later in the game, returning a kick. It kind of shocked everyone who watched his game-opening injury. How could the medical staff clear him to play?
Well, he never saw the field again after that, appearing in street clothes in the second half.
Mel Tucker and the medical staff were under fire all week about the situation, and deservedly so. It seemed like a bad decision to put him back into the game, even if he did get cleared by the training staff. The injury spoke for itself. It was bad.
On Thursday, the medical staff revealed why it cleared Brown in a statement and said that they decided to pull him for good after watching the replay of the opening kickoff hit that downed him.
Update from MSU on Alante Brown’s injury and return to play after an internal evaluation. MSU says Brown passed all initial tests but when the medical staff saw the play at halftime, they decided to remove him from the game. The next morning Brown had mild concussive symptoms. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/LvPYMqZj9E
— Graham Couch (@Graham_Couch) September 7, 2023
While I can appreciate the staff coming out with a statement regarding such a controversial decision, it doesn’t make anything better. Brown still went in and risked further, more serious injury. He still locked up and went to the ground the second he was hit. Brown’s helmet should have been taken away immediately, even if he did want to go back in. There was no excuse.
Tucker saw the hit. The staff knew he was taken off on a stretcher. Brown should have never gone back in.
I get it, he passed all concussion tests when he was being evaluated by the medical staff, but they should have been presented a replay of the injury before clearing him to play. It was just a poor decision from everyone.
Let’s hope something like this never happens again.
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