Tom Savage suffers possible concussion; brief return sparks controversy

Tom Savage has exited Houston’s game against the 49ers. But it was his brief return following a possible concussion that created controversy during Sunday’s game at NRG Stadium.

“He got hit on that one play in the end zone,” O’Brien said. “Obviously, the spotter wanted him evaluated. We evaluated him. At that time, made the determination to put him, that he was — not me, obviously the evaluators made the determination to put him back in the game. And then he went back in the game and he came out and they evaluated him a little bit more just because of what they say.

“So, that’s kind of where it’s at. That’s all I really know about it.

“He doesn’t want to come out of the game, but again that’s in the medical people’s hands. They try to make the best decision for the player. Whatever they see and the testing that they do, they try to make the best decision with the player, and they weren’t satisfied with the results of the second test, so they decided to pull him and that’s when he went into the locker room.”

A 31-24 loss to the Panthers Sunday at Bank of America Stadium prevented the Vikings (10-3) from claiming a postseason invitation.

The Vikings (10-3) still could have clinched the division with losses by both the Packers and Lions, but the Packers rallied to beat the Browns in overtime and the Lions held off the Buccaneers late.

The Panthers (9-4) got 103 rushing yards from Jonathan Stewart and Carolina’s defense stifled Minnesota’s offense. Stewart scored three touchdowns for the first time in his career.

Vikings quarterback Case Keenum was sacked six times and had three turnovers. The Panthers kept their own postseason hopes alive, pulling even with the Saints in the NFC South. The Saints do own a tiebreaker, however, by way of a season sweep.