Eric Weddle clears concussion protocol after suffering bloody injury in Week 1

Ben Weinrib
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Less than a week after suffering an injury that left him bloodied and needing seven stitches, Los Angeles Rams safety Eric Weddle has the green light to play.

The 34-year-old returned to practice as a limited participant on Wednesday and cleared the concussion protocol on Friday, head coach Sean McVay told reporters on Friday.

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This return to action for Weddle, the team’s defensive signal-caller, will be crucial, as the Rams are set to play a rematch of the NFC championship game on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

What happened to Weddle?

Weddle was expected to be a big difference-maker for the Rams this season after signing with them over the summer, and he was in on plenty of action early with six tackles in the first half of Week 1’s game against the Carolina Panthers. But one missed tackle cost him dearly.

With just over five minutes left in the second quarter, Weddle lowered his body to tackle running back Christian McCaffrey, who attempted to leap over him. Unfortunately McCaffrey’s knee hit Weddle squarely in the head, and a sharp edge of the helmet left a gash on his head. The impact left him dazed on the field for several moments before he could be carted off.

Did Weddle suffer a concussion?

Although Weddle went through the concussion protocol, the team never officially diagnosed him with a concussion. Knees to the helmet are one of the easiest ways to pick one up, and his comments right after the game were fairly concerning.

“That first couple minutes, I don’t remember anything, but then after that I was coherent,” Weddle told the Los Angeles Times. “I knew the score, knew who we were playing, all the simple questions you ask to see if someone is there or not.

“Like, I knew where I was at. The whole thing I was wondering was if I made the tackle or not.”

Weddle has faced concussions before, notably in a November 2012 game when he said he got “knocked out” against the Baltimore Ravens. However, he played the very next week, the same thing he's attempting to do now. Here’s hoping he’s progressed further than before the NFL paid closer attention to traumatic brain injuries.

Rams safety Eric Weddle had to be carted off the field in Week 1. (Dannie Walls/Getty Images)

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