Texans’ C.J. Stroud Takes Hard Hit, Remains Down On NFL Field

December 3, 2023: Denver Broncos linebacker Alex Singleton (49) sacks Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) during a game between the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans in Houston, TX. ..Trask Smith/CSM (Credit Image: © Trask Smith/Cal Sport Media) Newscom/(Mega Agency TagID: csmphotothree207451.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]
December 3, 2023: Denver Broncos linebacker Alex Singleton (49) sacks Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) during a game between the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans in Houston, TX. ..Trask Smith/CSM (Credit Image: © Trask Smith/Cal Sport Media) Newscom/(Mega Agency TagID: csmphotothree207451.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]
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Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud took a hard hit, resulting in his head smacking on the NFL field. He remained down on the field for several minutes.

https://twitter.com/NFLonCBS/status/1733949934536217050

Luckily, after being attended to by medical trainers, he was able to walk off the field at his own will.

He remained in the blue medical tent for concussion protocol before he walked into the tunnel for further evaluation.

https://twitter.com/NFLonCBS/status/1733950819412701266

He then walked to the locker room on his own, surrounded by medical professionals.

This comes weeks after NFL defensive player Taylor Rapp left the Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets game on a stretcher in an ambulance. It also comes after Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Joey Bosa was carted off the field in the first quarter of the football game on November 19.

He was seen sitting on the back of the cart, crying into his towel as he left the game. Bosa was placed on injured reserve and likely won't return this season.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborne also took a hard hit during the NFL game on November 5, resulting in him being carted off the field. The wide receiver was sandwiched between two NFL players. He remained down on the field for several minutes as players from both teams kneeled on the turf.

Tua Tagovailoa Sparks Concussion Protocol Discussion

Dolphins Tua Tagovailoa throws the football
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After suffering two head injuries within five days, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sparked a new discussion about NFL safety.

On September 25, Tagovailoa took a hard hit against the Buffalo Bills. When he got up, he was seen stumbling and not walking straight. The Dolphins quarterback was evaluated for a concussion during halftime, but returned to the game after professionals determined the stumble was caused by a previously reported back injury, and not a concussion.

Four days later, in the Thursday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Tagovailoa took another hard yet, this time resulting in his head hitting the turf and him being carted off the field on a stretcher as he could not move his arms or hands. He was briefly hospitalized.

NFL Reviews Concussion Protocol

NFL Concussion Protocol
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The NFL Players Association then reviewed the league’s concussion protocol following the Dolphins quarterback’s quick return to the game on Sunday against the Bills. The NFLPA deemed the UNC made “several mistakes” during the concussion protocol process, multiple sources told ESPN. One of those mistakes included not examining Tagovailoa’s back during the initial concussion examination.

On October 1, the NFL and NFLPA agreed on an amended concussion protocol. Now, any player who displays ataxia, which is defined as “abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue,” must be removed from a game and is not allowed to return.

C.J. Stroud did not return to the game. Stroud is the second Houston Texans quarterback to suffer a severe head injury as earlier this season, Deshaun Watson suffered went down after a play during the Cleveland Browns vs the Indianapolis Colts on October 22. The 28-year-old remained down on the field for several minutes after he got shoved to the ground hard by a defender, resulting in his head slamming into the turf.

Watson has been ruled out for the remainder of the NFL season.