Savage suffered the concussion in the second quarter, when he took a hit on third down that left him on the ground with his hands twitching. He was allowed to re-enter the game after being checked out in the sideline medical tent, but one series later he was taken to the locker room and ruled out for the rest of the game.
Texans coach Bill O'Brien said Savage was checked immediately after he took the hit and was cleared by the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant to return to the field. After the following series, Savage was tested again and failed the concussion test.
The NFL and NFL Players Association, in a joint statement to confirm new changes to the concussion protocol, acknowledged that the outcome allowing Savage to return to the field was "unacceptable."
In the joint statement, the NFL and NFLPA said the medical staff saw the "initial broadcast video" but not the slow-motion replay that made clear Savage's fencing posture and the twitching of his hands.
On Friday, O'Brien said he believed the team handled the situation correctly.
"I think, just speaking for us here at the Texans, it's always about trying to do the right thing, doing the right thing by the player, doing the right thing by the rules," O'Brien said. "That's what we try to do."
The Texans put Savage on injured reserve before their Week 16 game. He never practiced following the concussion.
On Dec. 21, the league announced that the Seattle Seahawks were been fined $100,000 for not properly following concussion protocol with quarterback Russell Wilson during a game in November against the Arizona Cardinals. Seattle was the first team fined for that violation.