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Concussion expert irate when Texans’ QB returns after hard hit

Hard hits are not unusual in the NFL, but the one Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage took Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers was particularly scary. When Savage returned to the game moments later, it drew an angry response from the founding CEO of Concussion Legacy Foundation on Twitter.

>> Read more trending news

Savage was hit by 49ers defensive end Elvis Dumervil as he threw an incomplete pass on third down, ESPN reported. The quarterback had trouble getting up and his hands were shaking.

After being evaluated by the Texans’ medical staff, Savage returned to the game three minutes later and threw two incomplete passes before being replaced by T.J. Yates with two minutes left in the half.

Chris Nowinski, a former professional wrestler with the WWE and author of “Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis,” tweeted that he was “disgusted” by Savage’s return to action.

“I would not let my worst enemy go through the 2017 #NFL sideline concussion protocol,” tweeted Nowinski, who is co-director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.

After taking the hit, Savage spoke with the Texans’ medical staff, ESPN reported. Before the Texans' next offensive series, a team official held Savage's jersey and arm as he tried to return to the field. Savage argued with the team official; after coming off the field a second time, Savage was escorted to the locker room by the team's trainer.

The Texans ruled Savage out with a concussion, ESPN reported.

Let it snow: Bills players, fans brave wintry conditions in Buffalo

Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White did his best to stay warm before Sunday’s game in western New York. 

>> Read more trending news

It wasn’t working.

The Bills were hosting the Indianapolis Colts at New Era Field, and players, coaches and fans were exposed to a strong snowstorm.

During warm-ups Sunday, White did his best to avoid becoming frozen. He danced and moved to stay warm. As a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, it is unlikely that White has ever seen conditions like this: temperatures below 30 degrees when the game began at 1 p.m., winds out of the west at 18 mph, a wind chill that made the temperature feel like 16 degrees, and visibility of less than a third of a mile.

The players weren’t the only ones cold. Fans braved the chilly weather to cheer for the Bills.

And you can’t say the fans in Buffalo don’t have a sense of humor.

Impact of Ryan Shazier's injury felt at Ohio State

As Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier begins recovery from a spinal injury suffered in Cincinnati on Monday night, the former Ohio State University football star is in the thoughts and prayers of players at his alma mater. 

>> Read more trending news

Most of the current Buckeyes who met with reporters Friday night had a similar reaction when asked about Shazier, who had spinal stabilization surgery Thursday

“It’s scary, but that’s the game of football that we play,” OSU receiver Parris Campbell said. “You never know what’s going to happen. Injuries are prone to happen at some time, but that’s just something you’ve got to pray about. It’s scary to watch but you can’t prevent something like that from happening.” 

Fellow receiver Terry McLaurin added: 

“It doesn’t make me not want to play. You’ve got to be conscientious as best as you can. But that can happen to anybody. Everybody knows what they’re signing up for.” 

>> Steelers’ Ryan Shazier has spinal surgery

Offensive lineman Jamarco Jones expressed similar sentiments. 

“I mean, yeah, like I said it’s a part of the game,” Jones said. "I wouldn’t really say it scares me too much. I’ve been playing football all my life. I’ve seen some pretty bad injuries in football. 

“It sucks but I think it’s harder more for the parents and the family than us. I think football players understand the risks we’re taking. It’s more other people outside the locker room who may not necessarily understand why we do this,” Jones said.

“I don’t think too many football players would say watching an injury would deter them really because we know what we’re getting into.” 

Ohio State returned to practice Friday to begin preparations for playing USC in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29. 

Titans, Vols players offer support to bullying victim who made heartbreaking viral video

When a boy from the Knoxville, Tennessee, area was revealed to be a victim of bullying, players for the Tennessee Titans and Vols football teams decided to step up.

>> Read more trending news

A video went viral Friday afternoon of a Knoxville boy detailing the bullying he had endured at school.

>> Watch the heartbreaking clip here

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

University of Tennessee sophomore receiver Tyler Byrd and freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano both pledged to visit the boy and offer support.

Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker responded with his own video and invited the boy and his family to an upcoming game.

>> Click here to watch

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon accused of sexual harassment, reports say

Former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Warren Moon requested a leave of absence from his job as the team’s radio color commentator after he was accused Monday of sexual harassment in a lawsuit, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

>> Read more trending news

Sports Illustrated reported the Seahawks accepted his leave of absence.

The leave was requested after a lawsuit was filed in California by his former executive assistant, Wendy Haskell, accusing him of multiple instances of sexual harassment. Among other allegations, Haskell claimed Moon slipped a drug into her drink and pulled off her bathing suit top during a trip to Mexico, according to The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock.

Haskell said she was demoted after complaining about Moon’s actions, according to USA Today.

Haskell was hired in July by Sports 1 Marketing, a company Moon co-founded, to be Moon’s executive assistant, according to the Post. The job reportedly required her to travel with Moon for speaking engagements, charity events and personal appearances.

It’s not the first time Moon has been accused of misconduct toward women. In 1996, he was acquitted on charges that he abused his now ex-wife Felicia, according to The New York Times.

In 1995, he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit out of court with a then-Minnesota Vikings cheerleader, the Times reported.

Moon has been the Seahawks’ radio color commentator for 13 seasons. He played for the Seahawks toward the end of his career in 1997 and 1998. The Seahawks finished with a 8-8 record both seasons, and Moon made his ninth and final Pro Bowl during the 1997 season.

He signed with the Seahawks after three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. After a career that began with six seasons in the Canadian Football League, and finished with 17 seasons in the NFL, Moon was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He played collegiately in Seattle at the University of Washington.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Tomi Lahren slams Beyoncé, Colin Kaepernick as 'police-hating' after awards ceremony

Colin Kaepernick was this year’s recipient of Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, which he accepted in person from surprise presenter Beyoncé on Tuesday night.

>> Watch the clip here

Prior to the ceremony, Sports Illustrated writer Michael Rosenberg praised Kaepernick for making “his truth known” with his controversial national anthem protests. Explaining the award, Rosenberg wrote, “Each year, SI and the Ali family honor a figure who embodies the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy and has used sports as a platform for changing the world.”

>> WATCH: Beyoncé presents Colin Kaepernick with Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali award

This sentiment was reflected in the short introductory speech given by Beyoncé, who said the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback “took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion, only hope to change the world for the better.”

“With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people, because my platform is the people,” Kaepernick said.

Several hours later, political commentator Tomi Lahren weighed in on the award with a controversial tweet.

“Police-hating Beyoncé presents police and America-hating Kappy with a ‘legacy’ award. This is how far we’ve fallen. Wow,” she wrote.

>> See the tweet here

Both Kaepernick and Beyoncé have said they neither hate the military nor the police, both praising members of the respective institutions.

Lahren has been a vocal critic of Kaepernick's protests for more than a year.

>> Read more trending news

In March, Lahren was fired from The Blaze, the news outlet where she gained a following for, among other things, speaking about Kaepernick. After settling a legal dispute with her formal employer, she went to work for Fox News.

Read more here.

Oklahoma RB Rodney Anderson denies rape allegation

Documents show a woman filed a protective order that accuses starting University of Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson of rape.

>> Watch the news report here

The order accuses Anderson of driving a woman home from a bar and attacking her while she was blacked out. No charges have been filed.

His attorney released a statement denying the allegations: 

"Mr. Anderson first learned of (the woman’s) request for a civil protective order late yesterday evening. Mr. Anderson is shocked and disturbed by (the woman’s) claims. The allegations are patently false. Mr. Anderson did not, nor would he ever, force himself on any woman," the statement began.

"There are undoubtedly true victims of sexual assault, for whom Mr. Anderson carries a tremendous amount of compassion. However, there are those accused of sexual assault which they unequivocally did not commit – as is the case for Mr. Anderson. It is incumbent on our community to reserve judgment and to treat this allegation on its own merit. We are confident that when authorities have all of the information surrounding this circumstance, Mr. Anderson will be completely exonerated of any wrongdoing, and he looks forward to the conclusion of this investigation so he can focus on his obligations as a student-athlete."

>> Read more trending news 

The news comes weeks before the University of Oklahoma faces off against Georgia in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.

The university released a brief statement Monday on the situation saying officials "are aware [of the filing] and are gathering information."

KOKI reached out to them again Tuesday following the release of more details on the allegations and received this statement:

"The university is aware of the situation and is following our protocols in coordinating with the Norman Police Department, which is currently handling the inquiry. The university takes seriously all allegations of misconduct and is continuing to collect information in this matter."

Anderson created a Twitter account Tuesday to defend himself: 

>> Visit KOKI for the latest on this developing story

WATCH: Beyoncé presents Colin Kaepernick with Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali award

Surprise!

Former San Francisco 49ers star Colin Kaepernick, who sparked NFL players' recent protests during the national anthem against racial injustice, received Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award from a special surprise presenter – Beyoncé.

>> Instagram star gaining attention for resemblance to Beyoncé

"Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion, only hope to change the world for the better, to change perception, to change the way we treat each other – especially people of color," she said Tuesday night at SI's Sportsperson of the Year ceremony.

>> Watch the moment here

"I accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the people because if it were not for my love of the people, I would not have protested," Kaepernick said after an introduction by "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah. "And if it was not for the support from the people, I would not be on this stage today. With our without the NFL's platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people." 

>> Read more trending news 

The ceremony airs at 8 p.m. Friday on NBC Sports Network.

J.J. Watt and Jose Altuve nab Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year

Two Houston sports icons are bringing home another colossal title: Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year.

>> Read more trending news

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and the Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve nabbed the honors from the vaunted sports publication thanks to Watt’s massive collection efforts on the part of Hurricane Harvey relief, and Altuve’s ability to bring home a World Series title to a city still reeling in the aftermath of the storm.

Says S.I.:

By the third week of September, less than a month after Hurricane Harvey had devastated Houston and its surrounding region, Watt had raised more than $37 million in relief aid. The SOTY candidacy of the Texans’ defensive end was unaffected by the gruesome, season-ending leg injury he suffered in Week 5. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year—the best defensive player of his generation, really—could have had the best season of his career, or the worst. His place as a Sportsperson of the Year had already been engraved.

“Nothing J.J. Watt has achieved in his career, or might still achieve, will measure up to what he did for Houston,” Peter King, The MMQB’s editor-in-chief, said.

For Altuve’s part, the American League MVP was lauded for his inspirational impact on the city:

The 5′ 6″ Altuve had his own contribution to Houston’s post-storm recovery. The personal journey of the Astros second baseman is an inspirational one, a classic tale of an underestimated athlete overcoming the longest of odds. And this fall, Altuve was the joyous catalyst for one of the most unlikely World Series runs in recent memory. Championships don’t save communities, and we should be careful to assign too much weight to their powers of healing. But what other event can bring a million-plus people together and provide a platform, however ephemeral, to cast aside the differences that drive so many of us to sports in the first place?

“The city of Houston has treated me really good,” Altuve told S.I.’s Tom Verducci. “I felt at that time that I owed them something. So when they were having a hard time, I wanted to give something back to them.”

Steelers' Ryan Shazier strapped to board, taken to hospital after scary hit

Pittsburgh Steelers star linebacker Ryan Shazier was carted off the field and taken to a hospital early in Monday night’s game after making a scary hit.

>> Watch the clip here

>> Head to WPXI.com for the latest on this developing story

Shazier went in to make a tackle, striking Cincinnati receiver Josh Malone with the crown of his helmet and immediately appearing to go limp as he fell to the ground facedown.

>> Read more trending news

According to Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert, Shazier suffered a back injury and was taken to the University Medical Center. He had a CT Scan and an MRI to evaluate his condition.

He said Shazier will not require surgery and continues to improve.

He will stay overnight and will hopefully return to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Shazier reached around to his lower back as he rolled over.

There was no immediate word about the extent of his injury. The team said his status was "unavailable."

WPXI's Chase Williams later reported Shazier was taken from the stadium to a nearby hospital with a back injury.

Shazier was the Steelers' first overall pick in 2014 out of Ohio State University. He made his first Pro Bowl last season.

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