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Joe Ovies

Renner, Fedora concussion test talk causes confusion

Posted September 10, 2012

North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner took a nasty hit on the goal line in the second quarter of Saturday's loss to Wake Forest. In real-time, and in subsequent replays, it appeared as if Demon Deacons safety Duran Lowe made contact with Renner's shoulder and head. Renner then collapsed to the ground after motioning to the sideline. Screen grabs of the television broadcast showed him face down and eyes shut.

Despite the frightening images, which quickly spread on Twitter and message boards, Renner downplayed the incident.

"I just got the wind knocked out of me. It was more of my ribs. It wasn’t that bad,” explained Renner.

As for pointing to his head before collapsing, Renner reiterated his reasoning and added that he landed on the football. According to Greg Barnes of Inside Carolina, Renner said that he wasn't hit in the head and that no concussion tests were given.

North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora told reporters after the game that the medical staff felt like Renner was ready to go and he was put back in the game. Renner's production was not the same thereafter. According to Bud Elliot of SBNation, the Tar Heels were averaging 6.6 yards per play before the hit and dropped 35 percent to 4.9 yards per play after the hit. Although it's important to keep in mind this production drop off wasn't solely on Renner and the North Carolina defense had a difficult time stopping Wake Forest's offense late in the game.

Interest in Renner's health was obvious during Monday's press conference, but his answers contradicted statements made on Saturday.

"I passed two concussion tests," Renner said. "I felt like I was ready to go back in and those mistakes I made in the second half didn't have any effect from the hit I took in the first half. I just wanted to clear that up for everybody. That wasn't the case."

So Renner didn't have any concussion tests during the game on Saturday, but now he did. It's entirely possible that Renner thought the kind of test he was getting asked about had more to do with getting hooked up to a giant brain scanner, but there are all levels of concussion tests. 

Adding to the confusion was Fedora, who spoke to the media before Renner. When asked for an update on Renner, Fedora stated "There was nothing to do with his head, there was no contact to his head."

The fractured timeline of today's media availability, where Fedora made his comments before Renner explained that he did have concussion tests, caused a stir with media and fans alike. On one hand, the head coach is saying it his quarterback wasn't hit in the head and there wasn't a head issue. On the other, the quarterback said he received a test after the hit and another one at halftime.

The issue isn't whether or not North Carolina did or didn't do the right thing. The medical staff absolutely did by giving Renner the necessary tests before putting back on the field. It's the reluctance to be upfront about the situation from the beginning. 

Fedora has already established he doesn't discuss injuries because ACC rules doesn't require it and has played cat-and-mouse with Giovanni Bernard's knee situation. That's his prerogative and it's not like Fedora is the only coach in the Triangle that locks down the injury report. 

But it's possible to recognize that Renner's status could, and should, be handled differently. Get the stories straight, especially considering his history. Last season, Renner left the NC State game after big hit and passed two concussion tests at halftime. He struggled in the second half and was ultimately benched for the remainder of the game. Further testing that week revealed Renner had actually suffered a mild concussion.

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  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Sep 12, 10:36 a.m.

    Good point. We DON'T know exactly what happened.

    What we DO know is it is one of these two things, both of which have been denied:

    1) He flopped trying to get the flag thrown, or

    2) He really was knocked out.

    We know that because of what we saw from him immediately after the hit.

    If it was (1), then they are just lying. Not that bigga deal, something we've come to expect from Carolina.

    If it was (2), he had no business whatsoever going back into that game, and probably the next one, either.

  • kornfan2448 Sep 11, 9:06 p.m.

    So now State fans even know how a Carolina player is supposed to react after a hard hit and what their team physicians are supposed to do and decide? I give 'em credit for one thing, they continually surprise me.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Sep 11, 3:17 p.m.

    Maybe I was looking for something after the hit, but to me, it appeared he played completely... View More

    — Posted by IBleedRedandWhite

    The few times I've watched him play, I've notice he seems to get rattled. Once he gets rattled, he's not the same QB any more. He's more tentative, makes more mistakes, scared to make the throw, etc.

    It happened in the State game last year, too. We cleaned his clock on at least one play, and it was all downhill from there.

  • IBleedRedandWhite Sep 11, 1:55 p.m.

    Maybe I was looking for something after the hit, but to me, it appeared he played completely different in the second half. It wasn't different like he was scared didn't want to take a hit but he seemed out of it and he made some weird pump fakes and either he or his runningback ran the wrong direction on a few plays.

  • NCSU84 Sep 11, 12:12 p.m.

    It's the normal "Carolina speak"

  • shakennotstirred Sep 11, 11:41 a.m.

    The posts from the unc apologist are pathetic. What does abc fans commenting on another unc coverup have to do with the actual coverup? He flopped and lied, he had a concussion and lied. It's one or the other. I don't blame the hat for putting him back in. He said he was fine, the "test" on the sideline was approved by some dept head and said he was fine. They were in a close game and wanted to win to keep their goal of "mythical" state champion alive (as unc fans call it). If they would have won, none of this would have been discussed. He played poorly after that play and they lost. No bowl, no state champion. 2 more coverups for this week. Priceless!

  • Tarheel7074 Sep 11, 11:11 a.m.

    Lay off UNC and let the guy coach. So sick of the talk by ABC fans. It's getting really old.

    — Posted by Native NC gal

    Rivalry smack talk aside, if ANY coach puts a player back in a game with a concussion, he is... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    TBK, as I am sure you know, the coach is a football coach and not a physician....the coach clearly said the team physician gave Renner several "concussion symptom-related tests" on the sideline and told coach Fedora that Renner was OK to return to play. These are the facts as established by the team physician and the coach. I hope you would agree that in the overwhelming majority of these type of situations, the coach relies on the professional medical opinion and advice of his team physician in making this type of decision on whether or not to put his player back into the game.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Sep 11, 11:02 a.m.

    The issue that Renner and Fedora are stating there was not helmet-to-helmet contact when all the... View More

    — Posted by IBleedRedandWhite

    Yep, I've had the wind knocked out of me a couple of times and I was always moving. It can be a... View More

    — Posted by heelsforever

    I have, too. I know I didn't lay there lifeless when it happened, either. He was either concussed, or he faked it. Period. If he had the breath knocked out of him, he wouldn't have pointed to his helmet, nor would he have flopped to the ground. Your only concern at that point is to get your breathing back, nothing else. It's a survival thing at that point. You don't care about anything else, especially theatrics.

  • Tarheel7074 Sep 11, 10:56 a.m.

    I used to go to WebMD for research to medical questions. Clearly I have discovered a better,... View More

    — Posted by kornfan2448

    Yep, korn, I was thinking the same thing, I can just come on these sites and get all my medical issues diagnosed by all these "experts" on everything from concussions to knee injuries, to just having the wind knocked out of you and how you react when that happens.....heck think of all the $$$ we can save by not having to go to licensed medical doctors!!

  • heelsforever Sep 11, 10:44 a.m.

    The issue that Renner and Fedora are stating there was not helmet-to-helmet contact when all the... View More

    — Posted by IBleedRedandWhite

    Yep, I've had the wind knocked out of me a couple of times and I was always moving. It can be a pretty scary experience...especially the first time.

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