EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State’s Alante Brown, who was carted off the field last week with an injury after the opening kickoff against Central Michigan and later came back into the game, was held out Saturday against Richmond.
Concerns were raised this week after Brown re-entered the game last Saturday and returned a kickoff 16 yards late in the first half against the Chippewas. The Nebraska transfer was on the sideline, not in uniform, in the second half as the Spartans pulled away for a 31-7 victory.
Michigan State athletic officials announced Thursday they would “expand our use of video access as a tool” to aid in evaluating football injuries and deciding whether players can return to game action.
“He was cleared to come back and then we took him out,” coach Mel Tucker said after the game. “Those are medical decisions that I support 100%.”
The decision to send Brown back in was heavily criticized online. The Concussion Legacy Foundation posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter: “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.”
Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller requested a full evaluation of what happened and the school’s director of athletic medicine, Dr. Jeff Kovan, issued a statement noting that Brown had been placed on a backboard as a precautionary measure. He said evaluations for a neck injury, concussion and neurological injuries were negative, as were later X-rays.
“Based on the negative clinical examination and X-ray, activity progression occurred on an exercise bike on the sideline and Brown remained asymptomatic and therefore was allowed to return to play,” he said.
However, Kovan said, “none of the athletic training staff or physician medical staff had direct vision of the injury when it occurred.” After staff reviewed the television replay at halftime, Brown was held out of the game’s final 30 minutes even though additional testing for a concussion remained negative.
The next morning, Brown had mild concussive symptoms, Kovan said.
School officials would not confirm whether Brown was still in concussion protocol on Saturday.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.