During the second quarter of the Jacksonville Jaguars 38-31 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, backup running back Bernard Pierce committed a pretty serious mental error on a Jaguars punt where instead of going after the Buccaneers returner, he turned around mid-play and started blocking a Buccaneers player.
It was a mental error unlike anything most of us have seen, as Pierce's body motion -- the way he turned his hips, how he engaged his opponent in blocking, etc... -- showed that it wasn't just a slip up. This was Pierce actually believing the Jaguars were returning the punt.
But during head Gus Bradley's press conference on Monday afternoon, when asked about the above play, he intimated this mental error occurred because of a concussion that Bradley believes Pierce suffered at some point in the game before this play.
A reporter asked Bradley about the play. The reporter didn't bring up Pierce's concussion, or imply any reason for it. He simply said:
"The [Bernard] Pierce play. How bad is that?"
"It is. It’s not a good play at all. When I saw it I couldn’t believe it, but I know he’s in the concussion protocol. I know after the game he had concussion symptoms. That’s where I’ll leave it at that, the play itself if you watched it."
Bradley was then asked if Pierce had suffered a concussion before the above play.
"I don’t know. I imagine so."
Did that concussion contribute to the play?
"Yeah, I’m sure, I mean he’s in the concussion protocol. It’s just unfortunate that he had those symptoms and that play happened."
This is not good.