Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill played with a concussion two weeks ago.
Grugier-Hill, who sat out Monday’s 23-17 overtime win over the New York Giants, told NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com on Thursday he suffered a concussion on the first play from scrimmage against Miami on Dec. 1, when he collided with Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker but told the team’s medical staff that he had a shoulder injury so he could stay in the game.
“I just basically lied to them,” Grugier-Hill said. “I thought it would just go away. I just didn’t really say anything about it.”
Grugier-Hill wound up playing 56 snaps, 42 on defense and 14 on special teams, and was credited with three tackles in the Eagles’ 37-31 loss to the Dolphins.
Four days after the game, before a practice at the NovaCare Complex, he told the medical staff he was still experiencing headaches.
“It got to a point where I really couldn’t lie to them anymore,” he said.
Grugier-Hill was was immediately placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol and was deactivated for the Giants game.
He was cleared to resume practicing Wednesday and will play Sunday at Washington.
Grugier-Hill’s deception did not go over well with Eagles coach Doug Pederson.
Normally even-keeled, Pederson was visibly angry when discussing the issue Friday.
“For (Grugier-Hill) to admit what he has said and done, it’s very disappointing for me as a coach,” Pederson said during his livestreamed news conference. “In a sense, it’s a little bit of a selfish act to take it upon yourself and make that decision. It’s not a reflection on the team or anything like that. It’s just one guy who made a bad decision, a bad choice. This is a well-being issue. Had he maybe gotten hit again in that game, who knows what could have happened?”
Grugier-Hill was among at least three Eagles who have suffered concussions this season, along with tackle Lane Johnson and cornerback Avonte Maddox.
Johnson left the Eagles’ 17-10 loss to New England on Nov. 17 and wound up missing a 17-9 loss to Seattle the next week. Maddox wound up sitting out four games after enduring a vicious collision with then-teammate Andrew Sendejo in a 34-27 win at Green Bay on Sept. 26.
The NFL has concussion spotters at every game, but it’s also up to the players to report any symptoms to the coaches and medical staff during games.
“We sit here at training camp and ... stress how important it is for players to either self-police themselves, tell a teammate or say something to the medical staff,” Pederson said. “We know how important head and neck injuries are to our league and the player himself.”
Evidently, not everyone feels that way.
Grugier-Hill said he didn’t regret playing with a concussion.
“I think it’s just part of the game,” he said. “You get rocked a little bit every once in a while.”
Injury updates: Johnson (ankle) will miss Sunday’s game at Washington. Halapoulivaati Vaitai will start at right tackle. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor (knee), defensive end Derek Barnett (ankle), cornerback Ronald Darby (hip flexor) and running back Jordan Howard (shoulder) were listed as questionable.