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Torain's head shot contributed to his fumble



Remember this hit? It came on Ryan Torain early in the fourth quarter on Sunday, with Josh Bullocks catching Torain right on his noggin. Hard to capture the image exactly, but this was definitely head-on-head.

Before that hit, Torain had handled the ball 94 times in his NFL career, and had never fumbled. After this hit, he fumbled two of the next four times he touched the ball.

If you were watching closely -- as Yahoo!'s Chris Chase was -- you might have noticed that something immediately seemed weird. After Torain's head snapped to the right on this hit, he remained on the ground. Anthony Armstrong came over to help Torain up, but the running back stayed on the ground and brought his hands together, in a gesture that sort of looked like he was calling a timeout. Then he left the field for a play. When he came back on the field, he lost the ball within two plays.

Coach Mike Shanahan addressed the issue on Wednesday, admitting that the head shot may have contributed to the fumble.

"I think he got hit pretty good, because he went out of the game, then he came back and had that fumble," Shanahan said. "I'm sure that had something to do with it. But a lot of these guys get licks like that all the time. It's been happening forever. Did he have a concussion? I don't think he did. But did he get dinged? I think he got dinged."

But Shanahan also suggested that the hit that caused the fumble helped, you know, cause the fumble.

"He got the hell knocked out of him on the one play, right before the ground," Shanahan said. "I was gonna use another word, but I know it wasn't proper."






By Dan Steinberg  | October 28, 2010; 10:11 AM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
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Comments

Why is this not a penalty?? Seems like a helmet to helmet hit to me.

Posted by: wdhart3 | October 28, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Why is this not a penalty?? Seems like a helmet to helmet hit to me.

Posted by: wdhart3 | October 28, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Why is this not a penalty?? Seems like a helmet to helmet hit to me.

Posted by: wdhart3 | October 28, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

This guy obviosly led with the crown of his helmet. No penalty??? No fine???? How could the refs miss that one. They were the only two on the play !!!

Posted by: tic24 | October 28, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

This guy obviously led with the crown of his helmet. No penalty??? No fine???? How could the refs miss that one. They were the only two on the play !!!

Posted by: tic24 | October 28, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Shanny - I'm not a neurologist, but I'm pretty sure getting "dinged" is a grade of a concussion. You don't have to get knocked out to have a concussion.

Posted by: gkronenberg | October 28, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

This guy obviously led with the crown of his helmet. No penalty??? No fine???? How could the refs miss that one. They were the only two on the play !!!

Posted by: tic24 | October 28, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

with all the guys we send out on a stretcher, I'll accept a lil bitter with all the recent sweet.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 28, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Naaaah, both fumbles were "punch outs" that DC's now teach. We do it too and you can look for more of the same moving forward. Cooleys fumble was the same. Gotta watch out for those.

Posted by: rdondero123 | October 28, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

'Torain's head shot contributed to his fumble'
~~
So did Charles Tillman, an ace ball-stripper at DB, second only to Charles Woodson for poking out balls.

So, until Ryan Torain reaches Wendell 'Fumbles' Tyler level, I'm not tripping.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | October 28, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

There's no fine or penalty since helmet to helmet hits do not apply to RB's. Only defenseless WR's.

Posted by: vtto2485 | October 28, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Naaaah, both fumbles were "punch outs" that DC's now teach. We do it too and you can look for more of the same moving forward. Cooleys fumble was the same. Gotta watch out for those.

Posted by: rdondero123 | October 28, 2010 11:06 AM

~~~
I was thinking the exact samething. Not saying that shot he took might not have shook him up afterwards but those bears defenders were delibrately trying to punch the ball out and cooleys fumble where he ends up batting the ball out of bounds was pretty clear.

Posted by: killahbee1 | October 28, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

As to the helmet to helmet hit, a running back is always lowering his head to deliver a blow and so is the defense and penalties are not called in this situation unless someone else comes in a deals a helmet to helmet hit when he is legally down such as a knee touching the ground, etc. They start calling this a penalty then every running back can use his head but not defensive guy. Get real. As to a concussion, Shanahan has proven that he doesn't really want to know about those things until after the game and not even then if possible. Remember Cooley?

Posted by: jrussell1 | October 28, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Add to that, the Bears seem to practice 'punching' the ball out. I saw bawled up fists punch two of those out; hadn't seen too much of that here lately.

Maybe Butter can practice THAT since he can't catch a cold, much less a damn interception.

Posted by: kahlua87 | October 28, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I was disappointed that this hit wasn't really discussed during the game. It was clearly a helmet-2-helmet hit, deserving of a penalty/suspension. He was likely concussed, and I was even more disappointed in the Redskins staff for not realizing something was wrong. After that hit, he fumbled once and I'm yelling "See, he's concussed!" and then he fumbles the ball away a second timeā€¦and then, when the only thing that could lose the game for the Skins is a fumble, we hand the ball to Torain AGAIN!! Unbelievable. When a guy's concussed and has fumbled twice since the concussion, don't hand him the ball again!!!

Disappointing that the NFL didn't take note of that hit and issue a fine/suspension. As long as defenders get away with hits like that, which directly lead to potentially game-changing fumbles (on the play in question, or later as we saw on Sunday), players will continue to use their helmet as a weapon.

The NFL needs to wake up.

Posted by: msveasey | October 28, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

cooley's fumble was a punch out. u could see it clearly.

Posted by: mustang_johnny1 | October 28, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

cooley's fumble was a punch out. u could see it clearly.

Posted by: mustang_johnny1 | October 28, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

cooley's fumble was a punch out. u could see it clearly.

Posted by: mustang_johnny1 | October 28, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Chris Cooley had not fully recovered from his concussion either. I could see it in his eyes and in the way he ran his routes. I've been concussed before and know that feeling, where you about 70-80% there, but not quite all the way there. Cooley dropped the first pass thrown to him and you could see his reflexes were just a step behind game speed. I often tell people that having a mild concussion is like being stuck in that place where when you're awakened by your alarm clock from a deep sleep and you immediately get out of bed. You understand where you are and that you have to get ready for the day, but those first couple of steps you're still kind of out it.

Posted by: clark202 | October 29, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

It affected him for the rest of the game. He ran the ball several times after that hit and he was very sluggish to the hole.

Anyone watching on TV could see it clearly, but the coaches apparently didn't see it or refused to follow the new rules for concussions. In which case, the Redskins organization should be fined, and the proceeds should go towards university-based research on repetitive contact brain damage.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | October 29, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

This new approach is going to take some getting used to, for both players and coaches. When I played, and this was just on the high school level, you get dinged, you get the smelling salts, play a quick game of 20 questions and if you answered most of those correctly; back in you go.

Posted by: clark202 | October 29, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

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