Most people residing in and around Pittsburgh know that linebacker T.J. Watt switched to a tinted visor during Thursday night’s game against the Patriots. Before today, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was among those who did not know that.
Asked at a Monday press conference about Watt switching to a tinted visor after taking the knee of Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott to the face, Tomlin said this: “I wasn’t aware of that, to be honest with you. So I don’t have a response to that. I wasn’t aware that he changed visors or — he normally wears a visor. You mean the tint of his visor? I wasn’t aware of that.”
While it’s not crazy to think Tomlin wouldn’t have noticed the change during the game, more than three full days had elapsed after it ended. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Monday morning. It seems odd that something like that wouldn’t have been discussed with Tomlin or in his presence, especially since many presume the tinted visor points to light sensitivity, which points to a concussion.
Earlier in the season, Tomlin was asked if he knew whether Watt had been checked for a concussion during the game.
“I assume that he was but again I’m managing the game,” Tomlin said. “I leave that to the medical experts. They essentially tell me whether someone is out, whether they’re subject to return, or whether they’re back. I got a report that he was subject to return and then I got a report that he was back and that was just my knowledge of the details of what transpired with him during the time that he was out in game.”
Again, that makes sense. During the game, Tomlin has plenty to do. But Friday, Saturday, Sunday. And Monday morning.
Did he have no curiosity whatsoever as to whether Watt, who entered the concussion protocol on Friday, should have been removed from play on Thursday night? Was he completely unaware of the issue? Was it just something no one dared discuss in the presence of the head coach?
Tomlin’s lack of information keeps important questions from being answered. The NFL has remained mum regarding the evaluation(s) conducted during the game and the reason(s) for the change to a tinted visor.
The silence is deafening, and damning. The only fair conclusion is that the NFL knows there’s nothing good that can be said, so they’re saying nothing at all.
If we’re wrong about that, NFL, just answer the questions.
What happened with T.J. Watt on Thursday night?
What was he checked for and when?
Why was he allowed to switch to a tinted visor during the game?
What was the purpose of the tinted visor?