Tom Savage left Thursday’s preseason game against the New England Patriots with a concussion. The brain injury prompted the Lions to sign Josh Johnson, and it could potentially number Savage’s days in Detroit. This latest concussion is a very concerning one for the Lions’ backup quarterback, because this will mark the quarterbacks third concussion in four years. That’s just counting the ones that he’s suffered in the NFL.
The issue for Savage goes all the way back to his days at Rutgers. Back in 2009, he was knocked unconscious in a game against Florida Atlantic. Per NJ.com, it was believed at the time that Savage had suffered a grade 3 concussion—the most severe kind. Savage would only miss one game that year, as he finished out the season for the Scarlet Knights.
The trouble continued for Savage once he became a pro. Savage suffered a concussion against the Tennessee Titans in Week 17 of the 2016 season. The following season, he suffered another one in a game against the San Francisco 49ers. This one looked particularly violent, as you can see Savage involuntarily twitching after the hit.
This concussion gained national attention, largely because the Texans allowed Savage to return to the game. The NFL even opened an investigation into whether or not Houston violated concussion protocol (Their conclusion? No.).
Now here we find ourselves in 2019. Lions head coach Matt Patricia confirmed to the media that Tom Savage is in concussion protocol at Saturday’s practice. Being that this is his third concussion in four years, you have to wonder what this means for Savage’s future in Detroit. Frankly, you have to wonder what this means for Savage’s future in football altogether.
From a human side of the argument, you have to hope that he stops putting himself through this. He’s only 29. He’s a good chunk of cash—nearly $3 million per Spotrac. With all we know about concussions now, it makes you want almost beg Savage to walk away yourself.
With the Lions signing Josh Johnson, it would appear that Savage’s role with the team has been replaced, at least in the immediate future. Patricia declined to comment on Savage’s long-term status with the team and deferred to his medical staff when it came to any diagnosis beyond “concussion.” Only time will tell where this goes, but you have to wonder how much longer Savage will put up with this.