Tebow tested for concussion issues

Updated: October 12, 2009, 10:45 PM ET
Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Tim Tebow's post-concussion evaluations included computer tests, reaction tests, eye-focusing tests, balancing tests, motion-sickness tests, MRI exams and CT scans.

He's still doing some of them, too.

Tim Tebow
Tebow

Florida's star quarterback said Monday that team doctors examined him before, during and after Saturday night's 13-3 victory at LSU.

"They've been checking up on me, just like any concussion," he said. "I don't really have to do the same thing as far as the extent of the test, but they are still checking on me, doing little balance tests and eye tests."

The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner doesn't know when the tests will end, either.

"I just do what they tell me," he said.

Tebow received phone calls, text messages and all kinds of well wishes in the two weeks he spent recovering from the first concussion of his career. Maybe the person who made the biggest impact was former NFL quarterback Steve Young, who retired after missing the final 13 games of the 1999 season because of a severe concussion.

"He was encouraging me not to push it," Tebow said. "You always want to go, 'OK, let me just go do a sprint and see how it feels.' Then you're taking a little step back. He said, 'No, just take time off and then when they say do your tests, then you're OK. Don't keep testing yourself.' I'm a competitor, so I love to do that. Am I OK now? No, rest.

"He was saying don't do that, 'Just let yourself rest and you'll be back soon enough.' I really tried to take his advice and do that," he said.

Tebow was medically cleared to play just hours before the top-ranked Gators took the field against then-No. 4 LSU. He took several hard shots early in the game -- coach Urban Meyer checked on him after each of them -- and said he left Baton Rouge feeling fine.

Now, he'd like to see Florida's offense get better, too.

The Gators gained 327 yards against LSU and scored their fewest points since a 31-3 loss at Alabama in 2005. Tebow completed 11-of-16 passes for 134 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran 17 times for 38 yards, often avoiding the kind of contact he seemingly sought out most of his entire career. The Gators (5-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) clearly tried to keep Tebow out of harm's way.

At least early in the game.

Tebow didn't carry on any of Florida's first six short-yardage situations (3 yards or less). He handed off to Emmanuel Moody and Jeff Demps and even tossed the ball to Brandon James on an end-around play.

"I was being patient with it," Tebow said. "It was probably something a little bit different and stuff, but I knew going in that that's how it was going to be."

Things changed late in the first half, when Tebow started getting the ball in just about every short-yardage situation. His number was called in eight of the final 13 short-yardage plays. He picked up most of them, too.

He expects that to happen more often going forward, beginning with Saturday's game against Arkansas (3-2, 1-2). He welcomed the extra work, even though his concussion made him realize how fragile health can be while playing such a violent game.

"I think it was humbling in a way, something that you have to be very careful with," Tebow said. "It's your brain. You don't want to have long-term effects. I want to be OK down the road for my family and everything, too, so that was something I wanted to be smart about.

"I don't want to be injured and I don't want to have brain trauma. You know that any moment it can be over, and it was not something I could fight through. It doesn't matter how tough you are. Instantly, it was just lights out and you don't know how much football you have. It's a blessing to get back on the field. You realize how much you do love the game and how much you love playing," he said.

Tebow said it took "a little while" to start remembering what happened after his head violently struck a teammate's leg and then whipped forward. He said he didn't get his full memory back until he was sitting in a Kentucky hospital.

It also surprised him how many people weighed in on his concussion and whether he should have played against the Tigers.

"A lot of people do think they're doctors," Tebow said. "I try not to worry about it because there's few opinions that I really cared about, and that was the doctors, the coaches, my teammates and my family, and that was about it. I knew a lot of people were going to have opinions about it. That's OK. They have the right to them. I don't have to care about it."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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