Finally, after a few moments, the woozy quarterback helped off the field by Pittsburgh Steelers players and staffers. Compounding the frightening scene was the team’s inability to get the medical cart onto the field, a failure that left Rudolph to wobble off as fans and TV viewers watched. The situation brought criticism from the NFL Players Association; the problem stemmed from operator error and not a mechanical issue, according to the Post-Gazette, which reported that the NFL had called Steelers officials to investigate.
Rudolph was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital for evaluation for what the team said was a concussion and, according to ESPN and the NFL Network, was released Sunday evening.
“You’re just waiting, waiting, waiting for him to get up,” David DeCastro told the Post-Gazette. “It took a little longer than I expected. The seconds turn into minutes and the minutes turn into longer …Your stomach just drops. You feel sick.”
As Rudolph ran from the pocket midway through the third quarter, the 24-year-old quarterback left his feet to throw, completing a 26-yard pass. But his helmet and face mask were struck by Baltimore safety Earl Thomas’s helmet. As Rudolph fell limply to the ground, the back of his helmet smacked the turf.
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