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How severe is Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow's concussion?

GAINESVILLE -- Here's a question that needs answering on Monday when University of Florida coach Urban Meyer briefs reporters on the status of quarterback Tim Tebow: How severe is Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow's concussion?

On Sunday, Meyer said in a statement that Tebow "is doing fine." The statement was vague but understandably so, considering team doctors will be running tests on Tebow throughout the week to fully understand the extent of his brain injury. Tebow suffered a concussion on Saturday during the third quarter of UF's 41-7 win against Kentucky. Here's a link to my follow-up story in Monday's paper. CLICK ME! And here's a link to an opinion column by Miami Herald sportswriter Israel Gutierrez in Monday's paper about the Gators. CLICK ME!

In Monday's story, I focused on observations made by UF linebacker Ryan Stamper, who watched from the sidelines, and then the playing field, as the one of the biggest stories in college football this season -- Tebow's concussion -- played out inside UK's Commonwealth Stadium. Stamper usually does not watch Tebow and the Gators' offense during games, but on Saturday Stamper made a point to watch Tebow in action during the third quarter.

Being a defender, Stamper zeroed in on UK defensive tackle Taylor Wyndham as he sprinted unblocked at Tebow and then leveled UF's quarterback. Stamper, along with UF's entire team, was on the field shortly after it became obvious that Tebow was seriously injured.

TebowAccording to the linebacker, Tebow was "knocked out cold" following the multiple blows his head absorbed during the play. Three shots to the head: Wyndham's helmet, Gilbert's knee and then the ground.

"A lot of guys get concussions or knocked out but kind of get up and just don't know where they were at," Stamper said after the game. "[Tebow] was just knocked out cold -- wasn't moving or anything. I've never really seen nothing like that before, especially from him.

"It was kind of shocking."

Now, consider the source after you read that quote. To teammates, Stamper is a captain, trusted voice and levelheaded leader. To reporters, Stamper is a soft-spoken veteran football player who measures his words.

Specialists classify the severity of a concussion with three grades: I, II and III. According to the American Academy of Neurology, a Grade III concussion -- or the most severe -- is the diagnoses for any concussion when a player loses consciousness.

On Saturday and Sunday, Florida coach Urban Meyer and then a member of UF's sports information staff publicly said they were unaware that Tebow lost consciousness. If anyone watched the game, or re-watched footage of Wyndham's sack on YouTube, it's obvious that Tebow was knocked unconscious. Wyndham said after the game that Tebow's eyes rolled into the back of his head. Tebow didn't move for several minutes. His arms were locked in a raised position -- a common symptom of a concussion -- as he fell to the ground and then both arms went limp and flopped to the field. He did not respond to team trainers for nearly two minutes. 

Tebowcart Meyer said after the game that the first thing Tebow asked him was whether or not he fumbled the ball during the sack. That might be true but Tebow did show signs of amnesia after he was helped off the field. On the sidelines, he could be seen repeatedly responding to questions from Florida's training staff with the same answer: "I don't remember."

Bob Tebow, Tim's father, did not return phone calls on Sunday, but Craig Howard, Tebow's high school football coach, told the Orlando Sentinel that the Tebows informed him on Sunday morning that the quarterback's concussion was "mild." By all other accounts, Tebow's concussion was anything but mild.

In his column in Monday's Miami Herald, Gutierrez made an interesting point. Gutierrez wrote: Already, though, the Gators' spin machine appears to be setting up for a Tebow return on Oct. 10, when UF faces its toughest regular-season test: at Louisiana State.

Of course, that's going to be the biggest question for the next two weeks: Will Tebow play against LSU? Considering Tebow's rugged style -- he had 40 carries in his last two games -- and UF's lack of receivers, the quarterback will likely expose himself to further possible concussions upon his return. According to medical experts, once you suffer one concussion, the potential for future concussions is raised considerably.

My personal opinion? I don't think Meyer, UF athletic director Jeremy Foley and, most importantly, the team's doctor -- the guy who has to make the call on Tebow's return -- is going to take a chance of a nightmare scenario by putting Tebow in harms way against LSU.

Oh, yeah, and then there's this: UF can defeat LSU without Tebow.

-jo-

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UF can NOT defeat LSU without Tebow. Don't kid yourself.

UF can defeat LSU without Tebow, LSU sucks. They struggled against Miss State. Florida can win games because their defense is much improved. There is only one team that Florida should have trouble with this season, that would be Alabama in the SEC title game, if both get there. The rest of their schedule sucks. LSU backed into that ranking because others have lost, but they sure as heck didn't look like a Top 5 team. There is UF, Texas, and Alabama, then everyone else this year. You have 3 top teams and a bunch of mediocre ones.

Some interesting news:

After one concussion the brain may be more susceptible to a second blow, and this is why most sports have rules about waiting 2-3 weeks before playing again,or risk brain damage, evident in altered mental function and control of the limbs — the so-called ‘punch-drunk’ syndrome.

In boxing, most states have a mandatory 28 day suspension after the first knockout.

In my opinion, he is probably the toughest QB that has ever played CFB, but you do not want to risk his health for a football game. I have personally seen a true friend with TBI, it's not a good thing.

Wish him well!

The Gator's O-line is the weak link here. I was in G-ville for the UT game and the Vol d-line camped out in the UF backfield on every pass play with minimal blitzes (rushed 4 all day). It was only a matter of time before Tebow got his clock cleaned - ironic how he got hurt on a pass play and not a running play. If Steve Addazio doesn't step up and get the blocking schemes in order it won't matter who is taking snaps -- Brantley/Tebow will be tackling dummies for the rest of the SEC d-lines.

As we all know this is a game we enjoy watching. Kudos the CANE fan who stated his positive wishes for Tebow.

GO Tebow. Go Gators.

As a Cane fan, I also wish Tebow well, but I hope they really consider his long-term health when contemplating whether to bring him back next week or not...

By all accounts Patchan was "blocking down" on that play and the DE blew in untouched. My question -- did Patchan blow the blocking scheme or was that designed? If that's how it was designed tear that play out of the play book. If that play stays in the play book...note to Brantley's parents -- tell your kid to transfer or he will end up in a wheelchair.

Boca,

According to Urban and some offensive linemen, Tebow was supposed to role to the right and quickly throw a pass. Instead, Tebow hesitated in the pocket. He might have been a little off on Saturday because of the flu.

-jo-

Meyer has already showed he has no regard for his player's health. If Tebow was that sick he should not have been in the game in the 2nd half of a blowout.

And Meyer's report of post-concussion events is completely different from everybody elses.

He's shown he has no regard for his players' health? What an ABSURD statement to make. I'm sure he was playing Tim as long as Tim said he felt fine. My guess is that was his last drive of the game - they were on their way to scoring and Tebow was coming out. Mistakes and accidents happen - none of this was Urban's fault. Saying so is ridiculous.

And yes, Florida *could* beat LSU without Tebow. Not saying they would, but they certainly could. Would still have the better offense and the better defense - it would simply be the home field advantage that would play more of a factor on first-time starter Brantley.

Tebow should not have been out there in a blowout- players always want to play no matter what. A coach should have his players best interest in mind but Meyer is known to be a classless coach and a blowout is way more important to him.

I actually feel sorry for those guys.

Jo - give update even if there is no update... What time is Meyer's morning press conference?

I agree with Adam (Hell hath frozen over!)!! I think Tebow was going to come out after the drive. It's just a freak accident. What's ironic is that it happened in the pocket!

USF's Grothe was injured on the LAST PLAY of his LAST SERIES in their game against Charleston! It's the way the ball bounces.

Legitimate questions can be raised if Tebow is allowed to play before he is ready. I was a litle uneasy with Meyer trying to downplay the concussion. It seemed like damage control. If it's true that Tebow was unconcious (and that has widely been reported), then most medical analysts woud tell you that 2 weeks is not enough time to heal.

If Tebow were to experience a collision similar to the collision he had with Bailey in the TENN game, he could die, or suffer irreparable brain damage!

Under these circumstances, it's just a game!

Ed,

There is no morning press conference today because this is a bye week. Meyer will brief reporters of Tebow's current status at 4 p.m. I'll something up on the blog shortly after practice.

-jo-

I DON'T CARE HOW BAD TEBOW WANTED TO CONTINUE PLAYING. IT WAS 31-0 AT THE HALF. TIM TEBOW SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN THE GAME. FROM WHAT EVERYONE SAW WITH BRANTLEY WHEN HE CAME INTO THE GAME,IT IS NOT HARD TO SEE THAT HE NEEDS ALL THE PLAYING TIME HE CAN GET. HAD HE BEEN IN THERE THEN THIS WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE WITH TIM TEBOW. YES I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS COULD HAPPEN AT ANYTIME, HOWEVER IF LIKE I SAID EARLIER IF BRANTLEY WERE IN IT COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED TO TEBOW. MEYER SHOULD BE MORE CONCERNED WITH KEEPING HIS STARTERS HEALTHY AND GETTING HIS BACKUPS PLAYING TIME, THEN HE IS ABOUT RUNNING UP A SCORE.

Canes fans get off our blog and get a life.

Florida comes out with a tremendous game plan, three questerbacks (including Joe Haden) and takes out LSU...you are going to see this Gator team rally after adversity like the Canes can only dream of! This is the 09 adversity that will kick this team in the rear!
Go Gators! God Bless Tim Tebow! Urban Meyer for President (after we win our 10th National Championship!)...!

Tim wanted to stay to at least tie for most TD's scored. Break the record at LSU. I pray that Tim is going to get healthy. When they get by LSU with Brantley as the QB then others will know how much tim worked with Brant. They are good friends and teaching him all he knows.
We all know hes not the runner that tim is but he is a passer that can beat anyone

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