In the closing seconds of yesterday’s first quarter against the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons fell, colliding with the hard Salt Lake City floor. After going up for a shot, Jazz forward Royce O’Neale moved into his landing area, causing Simons to “snap his head back”. The fall left Simons with a concussion that kept him out for the remainder of the controversy-filled loss.
NBC Sports Northwest’s Jamie Hudson wrote about Simons’ comments after the game. Surprisingly, he said he was feeling “alright. I’ve got a little headache right now, but I think I’ll be alright.”
Taking another look at O'Neale's sweeping leg that caught Simons and made him go off-balance pic.twitter.com/tH4z1UdtPH— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) February 8, 2020
Simons said the incident happened so quickly he was unable to protect his head on the way down.
“I was shooting… And, I just felt somebody’s legs come under me and I kind of fell back fast. I didn’t know. It just all happened quick. So, I snapped my head back, and I fell down pretty bad.”
“It happened so quick; I couldn’t prepare for it.”
Simons must now go through the NBA’s concussion protocol, which features strict rules about returning to the court, including a 24-hour evaluation period before the player can go through any testing to return to the court.
He has been listed as doubtful for Sunday’s clash with the also-understaffed Miami Heat at the Moda Center.