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Head Athletic Trainer Rick Burkholder

Posted Dec 11, 2012

Opening Remarks: "First on [DT] Mike Patterson. Mike is out of the hospital. He's at home. He's not with the team right now because he is home resting. We're trying to get him to recover from the pneumonia that he had and he looks like he's going to be alright. It's just that after you have something like that [it's] tough to get your energy levels back up and make sure you can play and all that kind of stuff.

"On [QB Michael] Vick, the last time we spoke I told you his ImPACT test wasn't back to baseline yet because of his reaction time. That's all back to normal so today he'll be out here at practice and we'll ease him back in. He's really in [phase] five of this rehab process and if everything goes well today, hopefully if I can get him in to see the independent neurologist tomorrow, he'll go see him.

"With [RB] LeSean [McCoy], LeSean had symptoms the last we spoke. Those symptoms are down. LeSean over the weekend had a little bit of [an] upper respiratory [infection] so he's back from that. He'll be out at practice today in a limited form. He'll do some stuff just to move around, get his legs back underneath him. If he's okay [we'll] send him to the independent neurologist tomorrow if I can get him in and we'll see how that goes. Yesterday Mike wasn't here because he had a little bit of what LeSean had over the weekend and that happens with a team when they pass it around. Those two guys are really coming along and are both in phase five and will be back out at practice today in some form. I'll monitor them and the coaches know about them and we'll just go as we go.

"With [TE Brent] Celek, Brent got hit on the first play of the game. You guys probably saw the TV copy where he got hit helmet to helmet after he was on the ground. By the time that I got to him he was okay. He was fine but he told me that he lost consciousness for a second or two. With NFL rules and by our standards he's got to come out of the game. That's why right away we announced that he was done. We took him inside [and] did neck X-rays on him because his neck was sore. They were fine. [Team physician] Dr. [Gary] Dorshimer evaluated him inside and he was pretty good. He had a little bit of balance issues. When we saw him at halftime he was even better than he was at the time of injury. Then by the end of the game in postgame he was completely asymptomatic. His balance was back. Everything was back to normal. We brought him in yesterday [and] we didn't do a whole lot with him. He told me he was fine. He had no symptoms yesterday. We had him rest [and he participated in] no meetings. We did an MRI on his neck just to make sure that was fine. And then this morning we brought him in and he's in phase one. He did ImPACT testing this morning and is already back to baseline so that's a good sign. I don't think I've told you guys as a group but I live by the deal, ‘If you've seen one concussion, you've seen one concussion.' So here's a guy who actually lost consciousness for a short amount of time and his baseline is back to normal already. But [with] our rehab process he will go through the same thing [as Vick and McCoy]. He's in phase one today. He did everything with me this morning, rode the bike, did some balance work, and did a little bit of stuff on the table. We'll see how he does [overnight]. If he does well overnight he'll be in phase two tomorrow and we'll see how he does. So you can see how all three of these concussions have acted differently. That's why we have the standards that we have. The reason that we've listed [Celek] out for the game is not because of NFL standards that are very high, but we feel like they have to get through those five phases of rehab and it's impossible to do those five phases in four days. He'll miss Thursday's game and we'll work with him up through this weekend and see how he's doing."

On whether Vick and McCoy will participate in contact drills during practice: "This is a non-contact practice. I think the practice will be very similar to a Friday [during a week with a game on Sunday]. They'll get a little bit of runaround to get their legs back under them. [We'll] let Michael throw a little bit [and] let LeSean run and catch and all that. If we need to get contact with them more it will probably be tomorrow and that will just be with [the training staff]. There's no way to have contact with these guys because I can't go back to training camp right now."
On whether players have to pass the test by the independent neurologist before participating in contact drills:
"No, they don't have to. They have to pass the independent [test] before they go back into a game. Some of the contact stuff we may do before they see the independent [or] they may not. The independent is looking for some other stuff."

On whether Celek is definitely out of Thursday's game: "Yes."

On whether Vick and McCoy have a chance to play in Thursday's game: "Yeah, we're not listing them as out. They're still very much alive for things and we'll see how they do today and take it day by day. Of course they have to get through this fifth phase. They have to get to the independent which could be tomorrow and they have to see Dr. Dorshimer and get his clearance as well which would be with an independent. [They would be] two separate appointments but on the same day."

On how the team knows Celek had a concussion if he was asymptomatic quickly after sustaining the injury: "One of the signs of a concussion if you're hit in the head is [the] loss of consciousness. That's the first thing and he lost consciousness. He had some neck pain. He was a little out of it when we were coming off the field but if you saw it, it was a long run for me across the field, and by the time I got there he was up and running the other way. Then when we got to the bench he knew he got hit in the head and he was a little out of it, then his balance was off inside. So we know he had a concussion. I think it's odd to people that he lost consciousness and then everything came back to normal very quickly."

On whether Patterson's illness has spread to any other members of the team: "We're very worried about our team because we live like pack animals in here. So we did a lot on Saturday morning to protect us before we left. We're monitoring these guys. I've stood up in front of the team and said, ‘Anybody that has any kind of symptoms, you've got to come see me.' Everybody that is a little bit sick we get over to the doctor's office. Right now we think we've got it contained but we're pretty worried about it."

On whether he uses the replay monitor on the sideline to get a sense of what trauma the players have gone through: "It's a great question and in Tampa it wasn't working. It was one of the first things I did, because he was complaining of neck pain and he had said he lost consciousness, I wanted to see it on the monitor. I went over and they said it's not up and running."

On whether it was the first time that a monitor on the sideline was not functional: "No, I wish I could tell you that it was but it's not."

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