The Manning Triumvirate of Archie, Peyton, and Eli all sat down with ESPN's Rick Reilly for a pretty light-hearted interview, with the two brothers lobbing verbal grenades at each other. Getting a lot of play from the article is this quote from Peyton about concussion testing:
They have these new [brain] tests we have to take. Before the season, you have to look at 20 pictures and turn the paper over and then try to draw those 20 pictures. And they do it with words, too. Twenty words, you flip it over, and try to write those 20 words. Then, after a concussion, you take the same test and if you do worse than you did on the first test, you can't play. So I just try to do badly on the first test.
[Archie slaps his forehead again.]
The quote would have been a hundred times funnier if he'd added the line "We call it 'Pulling a Vince Young' in the business" at the end.
It would be easy to dismiss the quote as just being sarcastic, but just last week, FOX Sports' Alex Marvez said that other NFL players have admitted as much too:
"Players are smart. They know that if they have a concussion and score badly that, 'I'm going to be taken out. It's going to affect my livelihood,' " [Dr. Daniel] Amen said. "I've had a number of players tell me they purposely do bad on the testing to start so if they get a concussion it doesn't affect them.
Without actually seeing the interview, it is really tough to tell with only the transcript, even with the quip about Archie slapping his forehead. I know from personal experience that sarcasm should be taking jokingly, a lot of times you say things sarcastically that have a little bit of truth to it.
This is my guess as to what Manning was getting at here. I don't think he purposefully gets a "0" on the test, so that he can pass any test he'd have to take after suffering a concussion. I'm going to assume that the NFL also has a baseline that players must hit, to try and couteract "diving" by players on the test.
Either way, a clear message was sent last year by the Colts organization with how they handled Austin Collie. He was clearly not fully ready to come back against New England, and then waited over a month before returning for the Jacksonville game in Week 15. The test is just one part of the process to getting back on the field. Even if players are "pulling a Vince Young", players won't be allowed to play before they're ready.
Tip to beerbrunch