On the very first play of Michigan State's football season, senior wide receiver Alante Brown went to block for his kick return man. His helmet collided with a Central Michigan player's helmet, and the result was that Brown went down and was motionless for a few seconds.
What has followed since that moment — including Brown being cleared and going back into the game — is seeming more and more like a huge screw-up on Michigan State's part.
Here's the hit that made Brown have to leave on a cart:
It is UNFATHOMABLE for Michigan State to allow Alante Brown back onto the field after this injury.
Falling defenseless to the turf was an obvious sign of possible concussion. The consequences of second impact injuries are not worth the risk of returning.pic.twitter.com/bHgd9GBL2M
— Concussion Legacy Foundation (@ConcussionLF) September 3, 2023
Brown was seen moving his left leg and putting his right thumb up, an undoubtedly good sign.
He re-entered the game and returned a kickoff for 16 yards after Central Michigan's only touchdown of the game, which was in the second quarter. According to Rivals, "people in the stands and people watching on TV were obviously stunned to see it."
To fans at home who saw the replay, Brown's reaction to the hit could be considered a clear sign of concussion. Some pointed out what looked like a "fencing response," which is a "an involuntary postural response that may occur immediately following a TBI [traumatic brain injury]," according to Medical News Today.
Michigan State even released a statement on Thursday, one that admitted medical staff cleared him after a head and neck screen but that no one saw Brown's reaction or a replay of it until halftime, during which they held Brown out of the rest of the game.
Michigan State Athletics released the following statement on Alante Brown's injury and return to the field during Friday's game against CMU: pic.twitter.com/4ablElyE53
— Stephen Brooks (@StephenM_Brooks) September 7, 2023
"The following morning, Brown displayed mild concussive symptoms on his repeat examinations. He's currently doing well and progressing through concussion protocol," wrote Michigan State Director of Athletic Medicine Dr. Jeff Kovan.
Kovan also said that the school will "expand our use of video access" to help team staff evaluate injuries and potential return to play.
When asked about the incident after the game, head coach Mel Tucker said he had nothing to do with medical decisions.
Mel Tucker was pleased with several positives in MSU's season-opener, but said the theme in a new week of prep is improvement.
He also provided comment on the decision of allowing Alante Brown back into the game, after what looked like a serious injury. pic.twitter.com/rGXHsOrP0L
— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) September 4, 2023
Still, there's been an outcry from fans saying Michigan State should've never let Brown back in the game.
Brown may suit up for the team's next game, on Saturday against Richmond, if his Instagram story is any indication. He wrote after the game that he's "all good" and will "see ya'll next Saturday."
From WR Alante Brown?s Instagram story: pic.twitter.com/hLNykUwwDV
— Stephen Brooks (@StephenM_Brooks) September 2, 2023
Hopefully, Brown is good to go, but this isn't a great look for Michigan State.
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