Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles passed concussion tests

Oct 19, 2014; San Diego; Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) and Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers (26) collide at the goal line at Qualcomm Stadium. Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2014; San Diego; Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) and Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers (26) collide at the goal line at Qualcomm Stadium. Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles turned a lot of heads in the past 24 hours based on comments he made during a guest appearance on ESPN Radio.

Charles, who took a big hit from San Diego Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers in Week 7, described potential symptoms of a concussion.

“It definitely hurt,” Charles said. “A couple plays later, I just (saw) this light buzz around my eyes and I was trying to catch them. But I was like, ‘Let’s get the ball and run again.’”

Charles went on to indicate the Chiefs didn’t check him for a concussion because in his words, “I didn’t have a concussion.”

The NFL has strict protocols on head injuries, so Charles’ statements carried significance, especially when considering he suffered a concussion during the playoffs.

That prompted the Chiefs on Wednesday to have head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder address Charles’ status with reporters.

Here’s Burkholder’s full statement:

“I just want to address the situation with Jamaal (Charles) based on the interview he gave to ESPN Radio yesterday. I’ll take you to Sunday at the (Chargers) stadium. When he got the hit, I obviously checked with him and he was fine. I know Coach (Andy Reid) talked to him a good bit there.

I came back and checked with him, consulted with our team physician and he was absolutely asymptomatic, wasn’t complaining about anything. Went through the game and obviously we check on those guys as they come off almost every series, nothing. Checked with him after the game and nothing, and then I know Coach (Reid) spent a good amount of time with him on the airplane and noticed nothing.

He came in Monday and worked out with our strength coaches, lifted full, ran – no symptoms, didn’t complain to any of us. Yesterday I got word that he had done an interview and said that he had symptoms during the game. Immediately we put our protocol into place to see whether he had a concussion or not.

So last night he came over here and we tested him. We gave him the following test, SCAT3, which is the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool and he has baseline on that, you have to understand with all his tests, we have all the stuff from last year. So we have baseline, plus we have all his testing from last year. Took that test, did fine.

He took what’s called an ImPact test ,which is a computer neurocognitive test, he passed that. That’s based out of Pittsburgh, we sent that to Pittsburgh last night. During the World Series I was on the phone with the neuropsychologist in Pittsburgh going over the test to make sure that he was back to his baseline, which he was.

We also gave him a test called ICE, which is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Initial Concussion Evaluation Test, which we have baseline on him from before based on his concussion last year. And he passed that. As of last night it looked like he didn’t have a concussion.

We had our team physician, Michael Monaco, see him this morning, he gave him that SCAT3 test again just to make sure that we were on the same page. We also consulted with our independent neuro consult from the National Football League. And everybody – all of the experts involved – and our medical team, feel like he didn’t have a concussion.

We’re going to monitor him over the next couple days. It was the advice of the independent to have him practice today and then be in contact with that independent tonight.

We aren’t classifying him as having a concussion, but as all of our players, I will monitor him as he goes and he will go through practice today.”

The Chiefs did not list Charles on the initial injury report after Wednesday’s practice.

The All-Pro running back should be available for Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams.