BBAO: Lions' new concussion protocol

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Welcome to another week of preseason football here in the NFC North. Our CampTour'12 has come to an end, and I'll post a dramatic and emotional retrospective at some point soon. For now, let's move right into one of the most important issues we found coursing through training camps this summer: concussion treatment.

We've already noted evidence of the Green Bay Packers extending or enhancing their post-concussion rehabilitation routine. I think we can make a similar observation about the Detroit Lions, based on what coach Jim Schwartz said Sunday in reference to scratching safety Amari Spievey from last Friday's preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns.

Spievey suffered a concussion in the Lions' playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints, and recurring headaches limited his work in their offseason program. He appeared to have made it through the early portion of training camp without a relapse, and he practiced the day before Friday's game. When Spievey returned to practice Sunday, Schwartz told reporters that the team's medical staff had reacted forcefully when Spievey reported concussion-like symptoms at some point after Thursday's practice.

Schwartz: "[A]ny time that you've had a guy with concussion history, I mean, the way it is now, you know, if they wake up and they have a headache or they're nauseous, we're going to go through a long protocol to make sure it's not concussion-related. We're just extra careful with them. … [T]he way he finished the season you know, that last game with the concussion, we're just going to err on the side of caution when something like that comes up and hopefully it's behind us and hopefully he's back to playing for us."

You can't argue with that sort of heightened vigilance, even if it does make more players unavailable for games. Given the legal ramifications, you can consider it a permanent part of the new NFL.

Time for our morning stroll around the NFC North:

  • Lions receiver Ryan Broyles has realized he can't be Superman in his rehabilitation from knee surgery. Justin Rogers of Mlive.com has more.

  • Schwartz has high expectations for rookie cornerback Bill Bentley, notes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.

  • Chris McCosky of the Detroit News provides a look back at the Lions' preseason opener, noting that quarterback Matthew Stafford's chemistry with other receivers doesn't match what he has with Calvin Johnson.

  • Rookie Casey Hayward has taken over as a starting cornerback with the Green Bay Packers while Davon House recovers from a shoulder injury. Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com explains.

  • After 21 players missed Saturday's practice and 19 players sat out on Sunday because of injuries, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said: "I don't know what’s going on, I've never seen anything like it." Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette has the details.

  • It's not clear when Packers receiver Greg Jennings will return from a concussion, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • Here is our discussion on the Packers' decision to sign running back Cedric Benson over Ryan Grant. (ICYMI, of course.)

  • Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier wants to get a handle on expectations for tailback Adrian Peterson's knee recovery now that he has been added to the active roster. Frazier, via Mark Craig of the Star Tribune: "I want to caution you. I know there are a lot of fans that are very optimistic and excited about seeing him back. But for us, it's just a part of the process. It doesn't mean a whole lot other than he's done a great job in his rehab up to this point. He's done everything he can do on the side, and now it's the next step in the process. It doesn't mean in the future he's going to be lining up with our team in the opening game [against Jacksonville on Sept. 9]. We don't know that."

  • Here is a transcript of Peterson's Q&A with reporters after taking part in his first practice, courtesy 1500ESPN.com. Peterson: "I never doubted that I would be ready."

  • It appears that Vikings rookie safety Harrison Smith could start Friday's preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, according to Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

  • Chicago Bears second-year linebacker J.T. Thomas worked with the first team in practice Sunday because of Brian Urlacher's knee soreness and Geno Hayes' illness. Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com has more.

  • The Bears are back to giving Chris Williams reps at left tackle with the first team, notes Wright for ESPNChicago.com, but J'Marcus Webb has been getting the first turns.

  • Bears defensive tackle Stephen Paea will miss a week or two because of a sprained left ankle, notes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Paea had been coming on strong in the competition to start at nose tackle.

  • Rookie defensive end Shea McClellin appears to be getting comfortable in camp, writes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.