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Hair of the Dog (Niners-Texans): Some Dog’s Going to Emergency, Some Dog’s Going To Jail

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The BRB gang get together to talk about Sunday’s game against the Niners, and get through most of it.

“Tom, however many of me you’re seeing right now look at the middle one.”
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

This is the segment of the Hair of the Dog where I write some mildly humorous, offbeat, or irrelevant thing that comes to mind during the Texans’ game Sunday. Under normal circumstances I might rail about commercials which are the television equivalent of a skin rash (looking at you, Apple), but today ain’t one of those days.

I can’t stop thinking about that hit that Tom Savage took and the fact that the medical evaluation staff on the team took a look at him, thought he seemed okay to play based on the quick and dirty concussion protocol they ran, and let him in for another series.

It’s friggin’ mind-boggling.

In case you were unfamiliar with the steps involved in the concussion protocol, here’s how it works:

When a potential concussion is identified:

  • The player is immediately removed off the field.
  • The team physician and independent neurotrauma consultant:

Review a video of the play.

Perform a focused neurological examination.

  • If there is suspicion of concussion the player will be escorted to the locker room for a full assessment.
  • If the player is diagnosed with a concussion there is no same-day return to play.
  • If the player passes the exam, he will be monitored for symptoms throughout the game.

Looking at all this, you might think “well, they got it right in the end, right?” Sure, but that misses the point. Houston’s medical staff is supposed to review video of the play where the concussion is believed to have taken place.

This is the end of that play:

Leaving aside the fact that the ref was right there, could see what was going on, and maybe alert the team to Savage’s potential injury, he’s not getting up. Warning bells should be going off on the sideline right now. There’s bound to be video of this for them to review.

I won’t play the video because I can’t bring myself to watch it again, nor do I want to subject you to really scary stuff. But you do remember him trembling, right? There’s a technical term for that called “fencing” that is associated with a neurological injury.

By this point, they know something is wrong. So Step One goes off quickly since the end of the play coincides with the end of the drive. Savage is off the field. So we move to Step Two: video review. They have video of the previous play, trembling and all.

This is the part I’m really struggling to understand. If you review that video with Savage trembling like he’s literally having a seizure, how do you, as a medical professional, not immediately conclude that he has a brain injury of some kind right then and there? Is Dr. Nick Riviera the Texans’ independent neurotrauma consultant? I’m not sure you even need to do the neurological exam at that point, just point to the video, “He’s shaking and he’s not doing it on purpose; we’re pulling him.”

But no, instead the doctors go through the remaining steps of the concussion protocol. They perform a “focused neurological examination.” The video review and focused assessment combined are used to make a judgment on whether Savage should return.

Again—seizure, trembling, arms outreached to nobody...this should’ve been the end of it. Instead Savage got back in for a series, where he could’ve done even worse damage to himself. Finally, tthe medical staff decided “Eh, you know what, maybe you shouldn’t go in after all.”

Either the team doctor or the independent neurotrauma consultant screwed the pooch on the diagnosis and should be let go for getting it so wrong.

Okay, enough of this. This isn’t about me going off on a diatribe about the incompetence of the Texans’ medical staff. There are others who want to say the same thing.

So let’s get to it. As always, in finest Hair of the Dog tradition, all swear words have been replaced with [kitten] to make this safe to read at work. You’re welcome.

Enjoy!

Pregame Thoughts:

Capt Ron

Top of my Twitter feed says....

I'll look for these in the crowd at the game today.

Also, what's going on with those shorts, shoes and shaved legs?

First Quarter:

Weston

I wish they were wearing red pants too.

Luke

Game time drink is Dry Hopped Lemon Sour and Spiced Chicaron for snacks.

Vega (to Weston)

That's something I'd expect a Rangers/Titans fan to say

UT

I kind of want to be watching this Buffalo game since they're playing in like four inches of snow with no end in sight for the snow.

Capt Ron

Wow, an un-injured Will Fuller!

(Fairbairn makes a 53-yard field goal with room to spare. Texans lead 3-0.)

Weston

I love Buckner going after the football on his almost sack. I don't love Savage holding onto the ball.

Vega

Just switched over to that Buffalo game. That looks awesome. I loved playing football in the snow.

Luke

I'm really interested in what Audi was going for with that commercial.

''So guys what do you think of when you associate with Audi?''

''The cold unending march of winter reducing all in it's way to a cold desolate landscape''

Capt Ron

"Give me Lamm on five, hold the mayo."

Vega

Hey, you know what sounds like an awesome idea? Let's drop Clowney into coverage.

Luke

Drop Clowney into coverage more please.

UT (to Luke’s Audi question)

"A bunch of soulless [kittens] in overly stylish winter clothes fetishizing the physical embodiment of their wealth to a population who largely can never afford to buy an Audi."

"Are you sure you're not thinking of Lexus?"

"Them too."

(Jimmy Garoppolo throws an interception to Kareem Jackson.)

Vega

Clowney should get some credit for that pick. Great pressure.

UT

I think KJax was as confused about getting that pick as the rest of us.

Weston

I was trying to get some friends to go to the Bills' game this weekend just because of the weather and the price of seats. MY heart is broken.

Jeremy

If Dylan Cole grabbed that, it might have gone the distance I feel.

Luke

One day we'll go together Matt. I too wish to someday make the trip to that bizarre football [Mecca].

UT

I love watching Nuk catch the ball. It's beautiful.

Weston (to Luke)

Let's plan something out next year. I'm not letting this [kitten] every [kitten]ing happening again.

Turn that Hopkins reception into a baste and rub it into the folds of my brain.

(Texans go for it on fourth down and come up way short.)

Capt Ron

4th and 1, let's go with a slow-developing run up the middle for a loss of yards.

Weston

lol what a dumb [kitten]ing play call

UT

Who the hell thought that 4th and 1 call was a good idea, Bill?

BFD

PUT A RING ON THAT FINGER, TEXANS! DON'T LET BOB GET AWAY WITH ALL THAT OFFENSIVE GENIUSABILITY!

Weston

Holy hell you have to see that Vinateri 33 yard FG miss in the Bills game

Luke

I've just turned over to it now. How the hell can you play a game, any game, in this weather.

(DeAndrew White muffs punt, recovers.)

Weston

The ghost of Tyler Ervin will forever haunt these halls

UT (to Luke)

The better question is "how can you not?"

These are the kinds of questions that will always keep soccer in the backwater of the American sports landscape.

Second Quarter:

Weston (to...who the hell knows)

got em'

USA USA USA

Vega

That's it. I'm switching to the Buffalo game. Don't know if you guys saw that last punt, but it was amazing. Semi-shanked, line drive punt, that just stopped when it landed. Then the returner, who was nowhere near the punt, fell down for no reason.

Luke (to Vega)

I saw the punt return man just stand there with is head tilted upwards as the punt landed like 7 yards to his left.

(Tom Savage throws ball to avoid sack, gets called for intentional grounding.)

UT

Grape job, Savage.

BFD

That game looks like so much fun. I might have to watch the condensed version later.

Weston

Damn I can't wait to watch the condensed tonight.

Savage with the anti-Russell Wilson

BFD

LOL @ Tom Savage.

Vega

I can't wait to watch Rick Smith not fix the offensive line in the offseason.

(Texans challenge the incomplete pass ruling on DeAndre Hopkins. Call is overturned, called a completion.)

UT

Sigh, BOB took it out of his pants.

The challenge flag, I mean.

Vega

Best part about this challenge is it gives me time to switch back to the Buffalo game.

Brett

DeAndre Hopkins is seriously not fair.

Weston

Note to refs, if a pass is near the sideline, Hopkins gets both feet in bounds. If you call the opposite you are going to be wrong.

Luke

[Kitten] Hop is good.

UT

If Smith/McNair aren't going to try and win, could they at least do something novel like import snow so the Texans can play at least one snow game in Houston?

I'd sure as hell watch.

BFD

Really wanted the strip sack there.

UT

I think it's because we're looking for it now. Because they're determined to not give us what we want, now that we want hilarious strip sacks, he's learned semi-competent ball security.

Weston

I really appreciate this Apple commercial. A HIPSTER: AN ORIGIN STORY

(Ed. Note: [a whole lot of words that will just end up being changed to kitten.])

Luke

Why don't teams pass more in the snow? It seems like a much more efficient way to move the ball without having to worry about the effects of the snow that much.

BFD

I guess you don't get much snow in Ireland, Luke.

Luke

Ironically enough [BFD] it's currently snowing right now outside my window.

Running in the snow is a hell of a lot harder than throwing in the snow.

UT (to Luke)

My guess is ball security. Probably easier to hold onto a slick ball than it is to throw or catch it.

Weston

"Elite thrower of the football, Jimmy Garopollo"

I'm glad Phil Simms is a parasite living in David Diehl's sausage brain

BFD (to Luke)

Generally speaking, especially when it's so windy, is that it's difficult to throw with any accuracy and the snow actually impacts the trajectory. Hard as hell to catch a block of ice, too.

UT

I'm kind of glad that the Texans special teams get maybe 5-7 yards on every return, it makes the inevitable upcoming block in the back/holding penalty that much easier to stomach.

Luke

I just want them to mix up their verbiage to describe a person who throws.

Why not:

Exceptional Tosser

Premium Chucker

Expert Hurler

Wonderous Flinger

UT

/sees pile of players hydroplaning in the snow for a tackle

[Kitten] that looks fun.

Brett

Looks like Clowney just took a cleat to the thigh, which I can confirm hurts like a [kitten]. He'll have a gnarly bruise from that tomorrow.

Weston

Nothing actually hurts. It's just weakness leaving the body.

I'm all here for wondrous flinger of the rotund spherical object

UT

I'd give a lot to hear Phil Simms call it an "oblong spheroid."

(Tom Savage is hit in the end zone.)

Holy [kitten] Tom Savage was shaking after that hit.

Luke

''Truly he is a Premium Chucker of the Hand Egg''

UT

Tom Savage has his helmet back on.

I can only assume his concussion protocol was "How many fingers am I holding up?"

Savage: "Fish."

Doctor: "Yeah, he's fine."

BFD

That was the worst attempt at a catch I've seen by a running back I can remember. That was beyond terrible.

Savage shaking after that hit was flat out gross.

Weston

Damn do I want Cleveland to crush teh Packers season

(Niners tie the game at 3 each.)

UT

/McCoy hurdles a Colts defender in the snow

My [Kitten] that was sexy.

Weston

I don't think anyone actually wants to play in this game today

Brett

"Lamar Miller has been a fixture here for so many years"

So...two years? That's "many" now?

UT

Savage doesn't look right.

Weston

[Kitten] yeah!

Jay Prosch RB

Damn I love 2017

I don't want this year to ever end

Luke

There is now more points in the Buffalo game than there is in the Houston game.

UT

I think if there's another lawsuit against the NFL about concussions, that Tom Savage hit will be exhibit A.

BFD

LOL @ Zach Cunningham's tackling angles.

(Carlos Hyde scores a touchdown, Niners lead 10-3.)

(T.J. Yates goes in for Savage after the medical staff realizes that Tom Savage might have mashed potato brains at the moment.)

UT

Weejay goin' in!

Weston

Praise be that Savage is out of here. That was an awful hit he took.

Jeremy

TJ using his wheels for the first. Hell yeah.

BFD

DeAndre Hopkins out there breaking ankles.

UT

He is the QB equivalent of Derrick Ward. The Glatesier.

Hey, I didn't see anyone else coming up with this.

(The Glatesier (all y’all shut up) connects with Nuk for a touchdown. Fairbairn shanks the extra point, Texans trail 10-9.)

Brett

At what point can we lock in T.J. Yates for the ring of honor?

Jeremy

Second straight week where the Texans are the last to go into the half. Injuries have made this game slow.

(Niners kick a field goal, lead 13-9.)

Halftime!

UT

How corrupt are the "independent medical professionals" that let Tom Savage, after having a [kitten]ing seizure on the field due to possible concussion, back onto the field?

Third Quarter:

Brett

It is still horrifying to me that Savage was let back into this game. People need to be fired for that.

Diehard Chris

I can't quite put my finger on it, but Tom Savage energetically applauding as they are pulling the blue tent over him is somehow PEAK 2017 Houston Texans.

UT

According to Black Sports Online, Savage was spitting up blood and trying to keep all that from the trainers so they'd let him back in the game.

That's [kitten]ed up.

(Yates throws a second touchdown to Nuk. Texans lead 16-13.)

Diehard Chris

"LMFAO TJ Yates is better than Tom Savage and Bill O'Brien sucks. This is the 2017 Houston Texans Yearbook on NFL Network."

Weston

lol

Be fair to Savage, he needs to put more bad tape on display to ensure he never plays another down in the NFL.

Brett

Name me a receiver not named Julio or Antonio that you would put above DeAndre Hopkins.

Go ahead, I'll wait.

UT

(Niners kick another field goal, tie game at 16-16.)

Weston

I'm Mark Schlerethed out

MDC

I’d take Nuk over Julio Jones.

UT

The Field Gulls Twitter feed is raking BOB over the coals for his QB evaluation skills and it's beautiful.

(Texans defense folds, gives up touchdown to Niners, who lead 23-16.)

Weston

The Field Gulls Twitter is bad smart football Twitter

UT

True, I just appreciate the effort they're putting into crapping on BOB.

Weston

They can't be TAKING OUR JOBS

BFD

I had to pile on a bit.

Grapplinghook, I have to admit, has been impressive.

UT (to Weston)

#BuildTheSBNationTwitterWall

Fourth Quarter:

Weston

The Carolina game has BBQ stock footage. THEY ARE TAKING OUR STOCK FOOTAGE.

UT

Hey, they finally got to Janeane Garofalo before he got the ball away! That's nice!

Luke (to Weston)

Was it grilling or BBQ? Because the Texans one was grilling.

UT

Watching the Colts try to clear enough ground to attempt an extra point is the best part of this week's games.

Weston (to Luke)

Good point. It was BBQ.

Adam Theilen has dropped 2 touchdown passes. Sad!

Weston

bfd is going to love this Cam Newton zone read

UT

At some point we should probably discuss the Texans game, right?

Kenneth

These second rate commentators said the 49ers have the most players on IR... can we get a list of both team’s IR lists and compare

Weston

In an old white football man voice

"I'm glad DeAndre Hopkins fumbled the football there. I don't care how strong his hands are or how big they maybe. You have to got to bring the ball into the chest when contact is made. Simply unacceptable."

UT (to Kenneth)

Niners have 17 on IR, Texans have 13 according to Pro Football Reference.

(Gould with another field goal. Niners lead 26-16.)

Weston

This team has lost some dumb games, this maybe the dumbest way they have ever lost one.

Diehard Chris

This is largely a dumb team, but since I don't watch any other teams regularly, I don't know how they compare to others.

(Fairbairn misses a sad field goal.)

UT

I'm starting to think that Fairbairn maybe isn't good.

(Texans lose to the Niners 26-16.)

Postgame Reactions:

Weston (to Chris)

The Browns and Bucs are the dumbest in how they lose games this year. They have out Chargered the Chargers.

We all have lived a worse version of our possible lives by watching this game today.

BFD (to UT)

I'm far less concerned about Fairbairn than I am every freaking CB on the roster, including Kevin Johnson.

Brett

We continue to outdo ourselves week after week.

Let’s give out some game balls.

Offense - DeAndre Hopkins remains a monster and, without question, the best player on the offensive side of the ball, and the recipient of both T.J. Yates touchdowns.

Defense - Jadeveon Clowney causingtrouble again, and a lack of good other candidates, gets him the defensive game ball.

Special Teams - LOL, right.

Who are you giving a game ball to, BRB? Let us know in the comments below. If anybody needs me, I’ll be drinking and watching Star Wars Episodes IV-VII before Thursday night.