GLENDALE, AZ - Will the Arizona Cardinals be without Larry Fitzgerald this weekend as they try to keep their playoff hopes alive in Seattle?
The Cards star was hit in the head late in Sunday's game at Tennessee, where his concussion got the immediate attention of doctors along the sideline.
In a Monday news conference, head coach Bruce Arians said Fitzgerald passed initial tests as he was leaving the stadium, but he still needed to go through league protocols before he can be given the all-clear.
In an effort to spot head injuries and hard hits that may require an examine from a physician, the NFL has at least two independent doctors placed on the sidelines.
"The NFL is clear that this is a job, we have neurology specialists, neuro trauma specialists on the sideline, on the 25 yard line of either sideline," said Dr. Javier Cardenas.
Cardenas, Director of the Barrow Concussion Network spends his Sundays on the sidelines of the Cardinals' games on the lookout of potential head injuries.
"We also have a spotter up in the video booth who is an athletic trainer, trained to identify head to head collisions," said Cardenas.
Cardenas says while acting as an independent physician for the NFL, he does not work for any team.
"Yes, we are contracted with the NFL, not the teams," said Cardenas. "There are three of us here who are part of the rotation and if needed, we on the sidelines will consult and perform a more detailed neurological evaluation."
According to NFL guidelines, players like Fitzgerald must go through several tests that could last several days. There is reportedly no firm timetable for a player's return, which can range from days to several weeks.
As of right now, all is looking well for a Fitzgerald return on Sunday, according to the Cardinals.