Chiefs to monitor Charles' symptoms

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Although Jamaal Charles showed no signs of a concussion when he was checked after a helmet-to-helmet hit he took from former teammate Brandon Flowers on Sunday, the running back was placed in the concussion protocol this week after comments he made Tuesday on ESPN Radio.

Kansas City Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said Wednesday that Charles was placed in the protocol Tuesday and passed all the tests. Charles will practice Wednesday, but the team will continue to monitor his symptoms.

"We're not classifying him as having a concussion. But as with all of our players, I'll monitor him as he goes and he'll go through practice today," Burkholder said.

Burkholder said Wednesday that he checked Charles after the hit and that the running back showed no signs of a concussion, although Charles said in an ESPN Radio interview Tuesday on The Dan Le Batard Show that he wasn't checked for a concussion Sunday.

"When he got the hit, I obviously checked with him. He was fine," Burkholder said. "I know coach [Andy Reid] talked to him a good bit there. I came back and checked with him, consulted with our team physician. He was absolutely asymptomatic, wasn't complaining about anything."

Shortly after the Chiefs' 23-20 victory over the Chargers, Charles said the hit he took was no big deal. But he changed his story during Tuesday's interview.

"It definitely hurt," Charles said. "A couple plays later, I just [saw] this light buzz around my eyes and I was trying to catch 'em. But I was like, 'Let's get the ball and run again.'"

Burkholder said Charles was placed in the protocol because of the comments he made Tuesday.

Charles was tested Tuesday night and passed three separate tests: the SCAT3 (sports concussion assessment tool), which he as a baseline on, an impact test and an ICE exam (the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's initial concussion evaluation test), which he also has a baseline on.

He took and passed the SCAT3 test again Wednesday morning, Burkholder said.

"We also consulted with our independent neuro consult from the National Football League, and everybody, all the experts involved and our medical team, feel like he didn't have a concussion," Burkholder said.

The hit happened on Charles' touchdown run in the second quarter. He went on to describe other symptoms that could be consistent with those of a concussion. He said he had flashbacks to scenes from his childhood. But he indicated he was never checked for a concussion because, he said, he didn't have one. Charles finished the game.

"I didn't have a concussion," he said. "It was definitely a hit that shocked me. I didn't think I had to go through the concussion protocol and all that because I didn't want to go through that again. That's what happened in the playoffs. I was definitely fine. I think I came out pretty good.

"I could definitely play through stuff like that. It wasn't a concussion. If it was a concussion, I wouldn't remember the plays or remember none of my teammates' names or remember what sideline to go to. I definitely remember everything. It was just a huge hit."

Charles was removed in the first quarter of last year's playoff game against Indianapolis after taking a hit to the head. He didn't return. Charles later insisted he didn't have a concussion.

Flowers suffered a concussion on the hit and has been ruled out for the Thursday night game against the Broncos.