NFLPA says Rams deserve penalty for mishandling Case Keenum concussion

OTL: NFL concussion questions (6:56)

OTL examines how game, league and Rams team officials handled the concussion suffered Sunday by St. Louis quarterback Case Keenum and the failure of the process that is designed to protect players. (6:56)

The Rams won't be penalized for mishandling concussion protocols in regard to Case Keenum, but NFL Players Association president Eric Winston wants the NFL to reconsider its decision.

"Complete failure to adhere to the protocol," Winston, who is an offensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, told USA Today Sports for a story that was published Wednesday. "Show me someone that says, 'No, the Rams did exactly the right thing.' They didn't. Everybody knows they didn't. So, there has to be discipline then, right? Because when a player doesn't do something that he's supposed to do, he gets fined for that when it comes to health and safety."

The NFL investigated the circumstances around Keenum's concussion stemming from a Nov. 22 game against the Baltimore Ravens but decided not to punish the Rams. The NFLPA, however, is continuing its own investigation into the matter.

With 1 minute, 10 seconds left in the game against the Ravens, Baltimore linebacker Elvis Dumervil jumped offside. The play was not blown dead, and Ravens defensive end Timmy Jernigan eventually broke through and tackled Keenum, who landed hard and the back of his head bounced off the ground.

As the officials sorted out the penalty, Rams head athletic trainer Reggie Scott came on the field to talk to Keenum while Nick Foles warmed up on the sideline. But Keenum stayed in the game for the next two downs, including a third-down fumble that led to Baltimore's game-winning field goal.

Keenum sat out last Sunday's game against the Bengals with Foles getting the start at quarterback. Keenum is still in the concussion protocol, coach Jeff Fisher said Thursday, and Foles will start again Sunday against Arizona.

The NFL also is investigating the circumstances around Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's concussion, which he suffered last Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Roethlisberger self-reported that he had a headache but the suspected play in which he suffered the injury happened on the fifth play of a 14-play drive in which he took all the snaps.

Roethlisberger is in the NFL's concussion protocol but said Wednesday that he's still unsure if he suffered a concussion.

Roethlisberger on Wednesday said a team physician told him on the sideline against Seattle that he didn't have a concussion. Two days later, coach Mike Tomlin told the media that Roethlisberger is in the protocol for "what is now being described as a concussion."

Roethlisberger was cleared to practice Wednesday.

Winston applauded Roethlisberger for telling the team of his symptoms but stressed it shouldn't be on players to stop a game.

"It's not -- it can't be on the players. If you look at the protocols, it's not on the players to stop the game," Winston told USA Today Sports.

"Listen, it's working," Winston added. "The message of constantly going in there -- 'this is what it probably feels like, this is what symptoms you could be experiencing' -- everything that goes into what we've been harping on now for a long, long, long time ... people are getting it."

Information from ESPN Rams reporter Nick Wagoner was used in this report.