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Did Heinz Field Staff Fail After Steelers' QB KO'd?

Andy Berg

Questions arose about the preparedness of medical staff at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Heinz Field after what some are saying amounted to negligence for not carting a concussed player off the field.  

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, who was filling in for the injured Ben Roethlisberger, was knocked out after being hit in the chin by Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas.

Unfortunately, the medical team on site at Heinz Field were woefully unprepared for such an injury. While medical staff did bring the cart out for Rudolph, he was inexplicably carried off the field after the facemask of his helmet had been removed.

Yahoo Sports cited a tweet from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac, who reported the cart was inoperable.

The NFL later released a statement claiming that a second car was available to take Rudolph off the field but that it wasn’t necessary.

“A cart was brought on the field in the event it was needed,” the league said in a statement, via the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. “After evaluating the player, medical staff determined a cart was not necessary in this instance. Had one been needed, there was a backup cart on the other sideline which was immediately available. He received appropriate medical care per gameday protocols, and is now in the concussion protocol.”

Medical staff also failed to bring out a stretcher or spine board. Rudolph missed the remainder of the game with a concussion and was later taken to a local hospital.

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