Around the NFC West: Seahawks dodge one

CHICAGO -- Doctors with decades of experience can have a tough time diagnosing concussions.

This was a central theme for the piece we published and discussed last week.

Around the NFC West: Dec. 3, 2012

Still, I was pretty sure from the press box at Soldier Field that Seattle Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice had suffered one Sunday while making the winning touchdown catch against the Chicago Bears. Rice took a jarring hit to the back of the helmet on the play in question. He went to the ground and stayed there.

Rice had suffered two concussions last season. This sure looked like it was going to be No. 3.

Coach Pete Carroll indicated otherwise during his postgame remarks, but seeing Rice in the locker room a few minutes later was believing for me. Rice was sharp as ever and full of life. He smiled frequently and showed no discomfort while looking into cameras and their bright lights. Rice recounted all the key details from his final play, including how he set up cornerback Charles Tillman.

Seahawks physician Stan Herring, who had contributed to our recent concussion piece as a member of the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee, was right there in the locker room. He evaluated Rice on the field and again in the locker room, including before the Seahawks made Rice available for interviews.

Rice spoke at length. Asked about Seattle opening up the offense, Rice referred to plays for Golden Tate down the sideline and seam routes to himself and third receiver Doug Baldwin.

Assuming Rice remains free of symptoms, the Seahawks can move forward with their key offensive players intact. Rice and Tate have been growing along with quarterback Russell Wilson. Both receivers came close to reaching 100 yards receiving Sunday. Both figure prominently into the Seahawks' potential for success down the stretch.