Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- November 22, 2019
Opening Statement: Rhett (Ellison) and Evan (Engram) wonít go. They just couldnít quite make it, so theyíll be out. Then the other guys that weíve been talking about (Sterling Shepard, Janoris Jenkins, Nate Solder), thereís no reason they shouldnít be cleared here. They just need to finish the last steps of the protocol and then theyíll be available. Iíll take your questions.
Q: With what happened to Shep where he got cleared and then he had symptoms again, do you treat that as an isolated thing? Or even after theyíre cleared, the next couple of days you have to monitor them more closely?
A: Itís like anything. Each injury, each recovery from injury, is different but weíre anticipating that heíll be ready to go.
Q: The last time when it happened with Shep, how much did that change things for you guys?
A: Well, youíre getting a guy ready to play, heís involved in the plan. Then all of a sudden, heís not. It gives a guy an opportunity to step up and get more reps but it happens. You adjust to it.
Q: I guess a better question would be is there apprehension because of what happened the last time or just because the way the protocol is set up, itís just kind of accepted that thatís what you have to do?
A: Itís a good question. You donít want it to happen again. But based on how heís trained and everything to this point, thereís nothing for us to say he wonít clear and be ready to play. At some point, you just have to trust it and then deal with it if it doesnít work out.
Q: Going into game 11, you still have not had all of your starting offensive weapons at the skilled positions once. Has that ever happened in your career?
A: I donít know. Probably not.
Q: Itís pretty incredulous when you think about it.
A: Yeah, but again, it gives other guys opportunities. I feel like itís important we spread the ball around. We certainly have to run the ball much better than we did last week, which goes without saying. We have to function well as an offense, whether we throw it or we run it, no matter whoís in there.
Q: With what youíve seen in practices and whatnot, does this locker room feel like a group of guys that are on a six-game losing streak? What are you seeing there?
A: No, that gets talked about when I answer the questions. It doesnít feel like that to me. No, to answer your question. These guys work extremely hard. They go into the weekend prepared to play. Now we have to go out and do it, and I think thatís the challenge. Go out and win a game. Then when you win two, itís a winning streak.
Q: How much do you look into the fact that Daniel (Jones) hasnít played much in cold weather, and do you do anything about that?
A: Well, we practice out in the weather. It was a little bit cold today. You try to simulate it as much as you can, the situations or the elements that youíre going to play in. We donít talk about it all that much.
Q: Howís Evan doing by the way? Engram.
A: I just said he was out.
Q: I know heís out. Did he have a setback? He was hopeful that he was possibly going to be back this week.
A: He didnít have any setbacks. He was hopeful that he could make it back. He did everything we asked. Heís hopefully on track to be back soon. He just wasnít quite ready this week.
Q: Has he started running yet?
A: Yeah, heís done some running.
Q: The medical decisions are out of your hand with Sterling and the other guys. Does his situation, is it extra, I donít know if scary is the right word, but concerning just because of what happened this year as you guys decide how to treat him moving forward?
A: What do you mean concerning?
Q: Was what happened with him a little scary for lack of a better word?
A: The actual concussion or his return from the concussion?
Q: Well, what happened with him having that setback.
A: You just deal with it. We talk every day, or almost every day, so you see as we go through this process, thereís things you deal with. You deal with it and make the best of it and you get the next guy ready to go. I guess the longer I do this, there are less and less surprises in terms of putting the final roster together.
Q: Does the fact that there is this protocol and these medical experts that kind of take that decision out of your hands, as a coach, do you like to not have to make that kind of call? In the old days, the coach might have had more power over that kind of thing.
A: Well, in the case of concussions, these are serious injuries that we have to handle in a serious way. There are experts that tell you whatís best, there are experts that tell you that they can or canít play and then you just roll with it.
Q: If he is cleared though, do you look at as heís just good to go fully, or do you still want to maybe hold back a little bit on his snaps as a cautionary thing?
A: No. When youíre on the field playing, all of the players are at risk for injury. Thatís just the reality of this sport. Itís a physical sport. The reason we all played it and do play it and coach it is we like the physical nature of it. Unfortunately, sometimes injuries are part of it. If heís up and going, heís going to go.