Dallas Cowboys coach Todd Haley is defending his handling of the NFL’s investigation into former players’ head injuries during the 2016 season, saying he didn’t push players into getting treatment for concussion-related issues and did not violate their privacy.
Haley said Sunday he did not force players to go to the doctor and he has been “in contact with doctors and neurologists throughout this process,” according to a statement released by the team.
In the statement, Haley said he does not want to create a “political climate” by discussing the findings of the investigation, but that he was not involved in the team’s investigation of players and did have his players read the medical reports.
HuffPost asked Haley to elaborate on what he meant by that.
“I did not push them into getting the medical treatment they were supposed to receive, nor did I force them into the doctor,” Haley said.
“I do not believe the NFL and Dr. [Richard] Corcoran, who led the concussion investigation, broke any laws, and I do not have a conflict of interest.”NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement that it is a matter for the league and its investigation.
“The NFL has reached out to Coach Haley and his representatives to share what they know about the facts of this matter,” Aiellos statement said.
“We have already reached out on behalf of Coach Haley to Dr. Corcorans representatives to ask him to provide any relevant information that could help us understand what happened during the process.
We have also reached out for clarification on the questions and concerns raised in the comments.
Coach Haley has previously stated that he does have a medical degree and will continue to take the necessary steps to help the league determine what occurred during his tenure as the Cowboys head coach.
We continue to work with Coach Haley as he continues his investigation.”
The investigation began in October after former Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a concussion in a Week 6 win over the New York Jets.
The league issued an initial finding in October that Prescott was concussed, but later changed that finding.
The NFL also announced that a second investigation was launched into whether Prescott had been given preferential treatment in the concussion settlement.
Prescott and the NFL did not resolve the dispute before the start of the regular season.
The Cowboys have since announced that Prescott will not play in the NFL regular season for the first time in his career.
Prescott is scheduled to make his debut against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Pettine has said Prescott’s injury, which is believed to be career-ending, was not serious and he did everything in his power to get Prescott out of the game.
Preliminary findings indicate Prescott suffered only mild head trauma, which does not constitute a concussion, according to the NFL.
He is expected to be sidelined for six to nine weeks.
“It’s not a situation where I’m saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to put him on the field and he’s going to get a chance to play,'” Pettine said on Fox Sports Sunday.
“It’s just a situation, and we will follow the facts wherever they lead.
I believe it’s important that the facts be presented, and the facts have been presented in a thorough and objective way.”
Pettin said in an interview with NFL Network’s “NFL AM” on Sunday that he “absolutely” felt Prescott should have been allowed to return to the field, but he has not given up on the team as it tries to make the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
Pete Carroll, the Seahawks head coach, was a member of the Dallas Cowboys’ coaching staff for four seasons.
Carroll, now the Seahawks defensive coordinator, was fired by the Seahawks last month after a season in which the team was 3-13.
He said he was informed of the concussion findings by the NFL on Oct. 31.
“When I saw that news, I was very surprised,” Carroll said.
“[I] knew it was a long-term injury, and it was serious, but it was also very short-term.
It was not long-lasting.”