The recent situations involving Tua Tagovailoa and Cameron Brate have once again vaulted the NFL's handling of concussions into the forefront.
Longtime NFL quarterback Alex Smith knows what it is like to be concussed during a game, and he shared his experience with ESPN's Pablo Torre.
Smith said after he took a hit, he "popped right back up" and continued to play. He was "hiding symptoms at this point" until a quarterback sneak made it impossible to do that.
"Then we ran a QB sneak. On this QB sneak...I hit the ground and boom, instantly, kind of what I would call a star in my vision," Smith explained. "It was a day game, really bright. A beautiful day at Candlestick Park. Got this big, bright star in my vision and I'm having trouble seeing at this point."
Smith said he was never knocked out, but he tried to "blink this [star] off" and it wasn't working. Somehow, he wound up throwing a touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree on the drive.
Obviously, it's not great Smith played through his concussion, but it's important to hear him talk about it. Situations like this happen more frequently than we know about in football.
The NFL's concussion protocols are going to be under an even bigger microscope now moving forward after what has transpired so far this season.