Michigan State to use more video in sideline evaluations after review of Alante Brown’s injury

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Michigan State’s medical team will use more video when conducting injury evaluations after an internal review of how wide receiver/kick returner Alante Brown’s injury was handled, MSU’s director of athletic medicine Jeff Kovan said in a statement Thursday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Brown was carried off on a board following a hit on the opening kickoff against Central Michigan last Friday. He returned to the game in the second quarter to return a kick, before being removed from the game at halftime.
  • Michigan State officials said Thursday that its medical team had not seen the initial hit or replay, and that Brown had been cleared multiple times on multiple tests. He was removed from the game once the medical team saw the play.
  • Brown had “mild concussive symptoms” Saturday morning and remains in concussion protocol. Kovan, who is not part of the on-field training staff, issued a statement Thursday that detailed how Brown’s injury was handled.

What they’re saying

“Following Friday night’s game, I conducted an inquiry of the events around Alante Brown’s injury, subsequent return to the game, and eventual medical removal from the contest,” Kovan said in the statement. “I analyzed the actions and verbal statements from all involved members of the sports medicine staff to ensure accuracy and consistency.

“Initial on-field evaluation of Brown’s injury included a head and neck screen, which prompted spine boarding and precautionary removal to the tunnel. Per all reports, none of the athletic training staff or physician medical staff had direct vision of the injury when it occurred. Evaluation in the tunnel, while still on the spine board, was negative relative to a neck injury, neurological injury or concussion. Subsequent X-rays were performed in the stadium and were also negative. Repeat examination (for neck injury, neurological injury and concussion) after X-ray continued to be negative. Based on interviews, an isolated replay of the injury was not part of initial sideline video review.

“Based on the negative clinical examination and X-ray, activity progression occurred on an exercise bike on the sideline and Brown remained asymptomatic and therefore was allowed to return to play. At halftime, an additional detailed neurological and concussion examination remained negative. At that time, sports medicine staff were able to view the isolated television copy replay of the initial injury. Based on what was viewed, a decision was made to withhold Brown from further play despite continuing to have normal examination for precautionary reasons.

“The following morning, Brown displayed mild concussive symptoms on his repeat examinations. He’s currently doing well and progressing through concussion protocol. Moving forward, we will expand our use of video access as a tool to assist our healthcare providers in evaluating injuries and potential return to play.”

Coach Mel Tucker said earlier this week that all decisions were left to the medical team.

“If a guy plays or he doesn’t play, if he practices or he doesn’t practice, those are all medical and I don’t have anything to do with those. They tell me a guy’s up and he can go, then he’ll play. If they tell me he’s down, then he’s out. That’s what happened.”

Required reading

(Photo: Michael Hickey / Getty Images)

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