Chargers G Kris Dielman Out After Suffering Seizure On Team Plane Following Jets Game In Which He Sustained A Concussion And Continued Playing
The San Diego Chargers, in the words of Ricky Ricardo, “have some explaining to do!”
Remember when the Bolts’ left guard Kris Dielman stumbled around the field, struggling to find his balance after a first down play against the Jets at the Meadowlands last Sunday? Did you find yourself surprised when the Chargers left their four-time Pro Bowl player in the game, despite the fact that he never appeared to fully regain his composure?
If you, like me, found yourself worried for Dielman, turns out we both had good reason to be.
The 30-year-old, in his ninth NFL season will miss the Chargers’ next two games (at least) after suffering a “violent” and “scary” Grand mal seizure on the airplane near the end of the Charger’s flight home after their loss to the Jets, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.
Apparently, Dielman did, in fact suffer a concussion on a first down blocking play where Mike Tolbert lost a yard at the 12:33 mark of the fourth quarter. As you can see in the video above, the guard staggers around the field, clearly disoriented, prompting a referee to tend to Dielman.
Here’s where the situation gets shady. The Chargers took a timeout at that point, yet resumed the game with Dielman still on the field, not only for the rest of that particular Chargers possession, but for the rest of the game. I can’t remember if Dielman was checked out on the sideline or on the field before or during the time out, or if the TV broadcast even showed it. It happened quickly and I can’t find that portion of the video currently.
While Dielman did not confirm having the seizure, he did have this to say to the Union Tribune: “I just banged my head a little bit. Now I gotta deal with it.”
According to the article, “while it would seem unfathomably coincidental, two sources said doctors were not certain the concussion and seizure were related.”
This is what I know for sure. After that Chargers time out, I was shocked to see Dielman back in the game. I kept my eyes on him for the following two plays, the latter of which was Darrell Revis’ 64-yard interception. In both plays, Dielman could not keep his head upright in his stance. He was the only player on the line with his head completely down. It looked like he attempted to keep his head upright and look forward a few times right after lining up, but he couldn’t hold on, subsequently dropping his head down.
Speaking with the Union Tribune, Dielman’s agent Mike McCartney expressed frustration with the Chargers (he also sounded off on Twitter) over their treatment, or lack thereof, of his client.
“If Kris, indeed, suffered a concussion and continued to play, I’m extremely disappointed,” McCartney said.”
“McCartney said he did not know when Dielman’s concussion was diagnosed. A player suspected of having suffered a concussion is required by NFL policy to be evaluated using the NFL “sidelines concussion exam.”
According to the Mayo Clinic website, while Grand mal seizures are commonly associated with Epilepsy, it lists “traumatic head injuries” as a cause.
“Grand mal seizures occur when the electrical activity over the whole surface of the brain becomes abnormally synchronized,” according to the website. In other words, it’s some serious s***.
If the referees, players and viewers at home all witnessed Dielman wobbling like a drunk college kid outside of a bar, how did the Chargers coaching and medical staff not notice? Surely, they did notice, but chose the wrong course of action.
The Union Tribune article says that San Diego was out of options, inferring that is what kept Dielman on the field, despite the injury. “At the time Dielman was hurt, the Chargers ostensibly had no one to replace him. Scott Mruczkowski had suffered a neck injury, Brandyn Dombrowski was already playing left tackle after the departure of Marcus McNeill due to injury and Green was inactive.”
Until a doctor who has personally checked out Dielman says that the concussion and seizure are unrelated, the Chargers medical staff should be ashamed of themselves, owing Dielman an apology and a promise to the NFL to never pull a stunt like that again.
Read the San Diego Union Tribune article in it’s entirety here: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/oct/27/dielman-out-vs-chiefs/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
Jackie Pepper is a sports journalist with nearly a decade of experience. As an anchor and reporter for Comcast SportsNet in Boston she covered the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins for the network's flagship show SportsNet Central and sister station New England Cable News.
In addition to her work with Comcast Boston, Pepper also anchored and reported for CBS affiliate KIDK, covering the Utah Jazz and various sports teams throughout the United States.
Pepper began her sports journalism career as a college radio reporter and talk show host at the University of Arizona. She went on to work for ABC Sports, ESPN and NFL Network. Recently she started her own sports website, www.pepperonsports.com, featuring daily interviews, commentary and articles on the latest sports news.
Pepper also frequently contributes to LIVE radio broadcasts as a guest sports and cultural analyst.
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