Case Keenum not cleared, but Rams hopeful for Wednesday

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ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Rams quarterback Case Keenum did not practice Tuesday while going through the NFL's concussion protocol, and coach Jeff Fisher is hopeful he'll be cleared Wednesday.

Fisher said Keenum, injured late in Sunday's loss at Baltimore when the back of his helmet banged into the turf after a hit, was at Rams Park studying film and participating in meetings on Tuesday.

"We're hopeful tomorrow he'll be ready to do some things outside," Fisher said. "So he's feeling pretty well, actually."

The NFL is investigating whether correct concussion protocol was followed when Keenum was injured. Fisher said team doctors and trainers were involved in a conference call Tuesday night to discuss possible tweaks to the system. That call was led by the co-chairman of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee, Dr. Hunt Batjer; Dr. Betsy Nabel, the NFL's chief medical adviser; Dr. Robert Heyer, president of the NFL Physician Society; and Dr. Thom Mayer of the NFL Players Association.

The review also involves the ATC spotter, game officials, NFL medical advisers and the union. Fisher said Monday it was important to "get it straightened out," but backed off Tuesday.

Fisher didn't learn Keenum had sustained a concussion until after his post-game news conference. Fisher is a member of the Competition Committee, but said that was irrelevant in this situation.

"There will be a conference call, then they'll adjust the procedures ever so slightly, I guess, on game day," Fisher said earlier Tuesday. Regarding suggestions for improvement, he said "I can't go there because there's too many entities discussing their opinions and exactly what happened."

Fisher believes the independent sideline observer decided not to get involved because Rams trainer Reggie Scott came on the field to examine Keenum with 1:04 remaining and the game tied at 13.

But Fisher inferred Scott had to make a snap judgment when told to return to the sideline, also noting that the play clock had been started. If Scott had questioned Case further on the field, Fisher had been concerned the Rams might have gotten charged with their final timeout.

Nick Foles would regain his starting spot this week at Cincinnati if Keenum can't come back. Foles was benched after several poor outings and Keenum wasn't much of an improvement, going 12 for 26 for just 136 yards and one touchdown.

Rookie Sean Mannion, a third-round pick, is the third-string quarterback.

After the hit by Timmy Jernigan on a busted play, Keenum's hands immediately went toward his head. He initially resisted when offensive lineman Garrett Reynolds tried to lift him to his feet.

Foles noticed and took a few warmup throws before play continued.

The concussion did not appear to affect Keenum's play in the final sequence. He was a little high on an incomplete pass intended for Wes Welker the play and was looking for potential receivers when poor blocking by left tackle Greg Robinson led to a sack/strip by Courtney Upshaw that set up the winning field goal by the Ravens' Justin Tucker in a 16-13 loss.


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