Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien minimized his role in the decision-making process that led to quarterback Tom Savage's returning to Sunday's 26-16 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers after he suffered a concussion.
O'Brien said after the game that doctors evaluated Savage and cleared him to return and then pulled him out of the game after performing another evaluation, according to the Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith.
"All I do is coach," O'Brien said, per Smith.
Following the second evaluation, the Texans confirmed Savage had a concussion.
Savage took a big hit from 49ers defensive end Elvis Dumervil in the second quarter. He remained on the ground, and his right hand appeared to be shaking. Some speculated Savage was having a seizure and later coughed up blood on the sidelines following the hit, but the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson refuted both reports.
Savage returned for the Texans' next series, which ended in a three-and-out. T.J. Yates replaced Savage for the remainder of the game.
According to ESPN.com's Sarah Barshop, the initial concussion evaluation on Savage took fewer than three minutes. Upon performing the second test, a member of the Texans' sideline "held on to Savage's jersey and arm as he tried to go on to the field." Savage argued with the Texans official before heading to the locker room.
After the game, Savage recollected undergoing a concussion evaluation at halftime of Houston's Week 13 defeat to the Tennessee Titans, per Smith:
Last year, the NFL determined the Miami Dolphins didn't properly follow the league's concussion protocol guidelines when they allowed Matt Moore to return to the team's Wild Card Round defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In that case, the NFL opted against punishing the Dolphins for the infraction.