HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The frightening image of Tom Savage shaking on the field after a nasty hit in a game earlier this month was not seen by the Houston Texans doctor and an NFL concussion official on the sideline.
The finding was made public in a joint statement from the league and the NFL Players Association today, concluding the concussion protocol was followed, but the outcome was not in line with spirit of the policy.
Savage was allowed to return to the Texans' Dec. 10 home game vs. the 49ers after taking the hit.
The league said sideline officials came to the determination based on initial broadcast video of the play and Savage's response. Savage passed the resulting protocol evaluation.
However, the league said the same officials did not see the slow-motion video of Savage in the "fencing posture," which was the quarterback's seizing-like movements.
Savage, according to the league, should not have re-entered the game. However, the NFL is not expected to levy a punishment against the Texans stemming from the sequence.
Because of the hit, the league said it has instituted improvements to the concussion protocol, including using a centralized specialist who will review all concussion-related broadcast material. That specialist will then contact sideline officials with a determination of symptoms.
The league also said any signs of seizing or the fencing posture that is "independent of a loss consciousness" will result in a player not returning to the contest.
The Texans placed Savage on season-ending injured reserve after the game.
You can view the NFL's full statement here.