Banged-up Cowboys will be treated on the sidelines this season in new, collapsible blue triage tents, instead of on training tables in full view of everyone on the home side of the stadium, with a TV camera, or with a pair of binoculars from up in the AT&T Stadium press box.
Cornerback Orlando Scandrick was the first visitor of 2017 to the SidelinER tent on Saturday, reportedly undergoing a “cognitive evaluation” after combining on a tackle with linebacker Damien Wilson in the second quarter. He must have known he was going to be evaluated after the play, as he slammed his helmet on the sideline turf coming off the field.
All 32 NFL teams will debut the sideline medical tents this season. The trend started in the college football ranks, with Alabama’s football program bringing theirs out ahead of the curve on Sept. 12, 2015 during a game against Middle Tennessee, according to USA Today.
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The collapsible tents are attached to the base of a trainer’s table and pulled over the top in a matter of seconds.
The idea of keeping onlookers further in the dark surrounding injured players, or, from the team’s perspective, protecting their injured players’ privacy, quickly spread in the college game. Clemson uses the tents, as does Lousiville, Arkansas, Marshall, SMU, TCU, Troy, West Virginia, Northwestern, Ole Miss and Florida State, among others.
Scandrick emerged from the Blue Star triage unit in short order Saturday, but was declared done for the night after the episode. He was not diagnosed with a concussion.