There are plenty of reasons as to why the Denver Broncos offense couldn't get anything going on Sunday, but one of the more underrated storylines as to why the Denver Broncos offense had such little success against the New England Patriots yesterday is the loss of tight end Virgil Green early in the game. Green entered concussion protocol after taking this hit from Elandon Roberts, and was quickly donwgraded to out:
Broncos TE Virgil Green displays "fencing response" after head impact vs Pats. In "protocol", but no need. Unmistakable sign of #concussion. pic.twitter.com/PT3wCkexvG— Chris Nowinski (@ChrisNowinski1) December 18, 2016
I don't know anything about...well, anything, but I have been told that "fencing response" is more or less one of the ways the body reacts to being knocked out cold. Basically, you take a shot to the head, your muscles momentarily tense up, and then you pass out for a period of what can range from only a second or two to a few minutes. We've seen it a handful of times across all the major contact sports, and I'm glad to see it getting the much-needed attention that it deserves. Regarding the Green hit, it doesn't look like it was anything malicious; just two guys hitting each other while trying to make a play. That's just football, and hopefully Green can get back on the field sooner rather than later. He's a good tight end and a solid receiving option.
Something interesting I noticed, however, while watching this video was the way that the football somehow managed to stick so completely to Green's hand as he lay there unconscious for a few seconds. At one point, the ball is completely perpendicular to the ground, with apparently no grip keeping it in place, and it doesn't seem to move. Only after Green comes to, rolls, over, and starts to get up does it pop loose. It's almost as if it was stuck to his glove, and the stick eventually wore off.
Let me be 100% clear here: I have no clue what that means. I have absolutely no idea what standard gloves are made out of in the NFL, and whether this level of stick is perfectly normal. I'm also more than willing to acknowledge that, even while out cold, Green's instincts could have kicked in and he's somehow holding onto the ball in spite of the odd hand position and seemingly improbable grip. It just seems, to this uneducated eye, that that football was sticking to his glove when it 100% shouldn't be sticking to his glove.
Does any of this matter? Not in the slightest. The only reason I bring it up now is because, this year more than most, the wild, erratic, unpredictable inconsistency with which the NFL deals with everything as minor as (maybe, possibly) sticky footballs to the use of walkie talkies to maybe another deflated football scandal to a kicker beating his wife is on full display. For some teams, something like this is a big deal. For others, it isn't. It's ultimately all about whether or not the narrative will drive ratings and interest fans, and if it won't there's no use in even kicking the tires. I for one am happy that the only place we'll see this brought up is here and that most folks have better things to do with their lives. I'm also happy that this wasn't Edelman or Malcolm Mitchell on the ground with a football hanging off his glove like a piece of gum, otherwise Tom Brady would already be suspended.