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Did Lions' Travis Swanson Play Through A Concussion On Sunday?

By: Will Burchfield

Lions' center Travis Swanson played every snap against the Saints on Sunday, but sat out practice on Wednesday due to a concussion.

It's a mysterious development, considering the Lions were off on both Monday and Tuesday. Unless the concussion was non-football related, it's only logical that Swanson sustained it during Sunday's game.

Jim Caldwell was in no mood to entertain such theories on Thursday.

"We don't talk about those things in particular, when things happen. But I can just tell you this in regard to that. We followed the rules, the protocol the League has set and mandated. Right now he's in a protocol and that's in the hands of our medical team, so they'll take care of that," Caldwell said.

In fairness, there's certainly a chance that Swanson's symptoms didn't appear until after the game. That would explain the strange timeline of events. But Caldwell wouldn't budge when asked about this possibility.

"The fact of the matter is I did answer the question," he said. "That's all you're going to get from me in that regard."

Asked how common it is for a concussion to go undetected during a game only to manifest itself afterward, Caldwell shut the discussion down.

"I don't want to talk about medical issues," he said. "I think I've given you a great explanation in detail probably about a month ago as to why we don't. I'm going to stick to that."

Fair enough. But the fact of the matter is Caldwell's evasiveness regarding injuries breeds speculation. It leaves open the possibility, for example, that the Lions actually breached League protocol in handling Swanson's concussion.

We're not saying they did - but who's to say they didn't?

Caldwell, for one. Only he won't address it.

The coach explained his uncompromising stance on injuries back in October.

"Let me tell you guys a couple things," he said. "Oftentimes, I think you guys may get a little tired of me, but you know I'm pretty consistent across the board. I've been doing the same things, talking about injuries and things. If you check back to my head coaching days - I don't care when you check -  it's been exactly the same.

"The reason being is, number one, I am not qualified to talk about every single aspect of a medical situation. Number two, oftentimes I think what you guys need and what we need is incongruent. They don't work hand in hand. Our giving out of information gives our opponents information, people we're playing against, that we sometimes care not to share."

Again - all well and fine. But how does divulging information about a concussion Swanson suffered last week offer the Lions' opponent an advantage this week? No one's asking if Swanson will play on Sunday. No one's even asking if he'll practice beforehand.

But Caldwell has drawn a line in the sand, and he refuses to cross it.

That's his prerogative, and the coach is well within his rights to withhold certain medical information from the media. But Caldwell's tight-lipped ways have begun to backfire on the organization - first in regard to the long-term status of DeAndre Levy and now in regard to the Lions' treatment of Swanson.

Does Levy want to play again? Most likely. Did the Lions allow Swanson to play through a concussion? Probably not.

But without answers, doubts and suspicions will fester. It's only natural.

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