ALAMEDA -- Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said he saw no intent to harm on the helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey unconscious during Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and that the officials' decision not to throw a flag on the play was a "judgment call."
Heyward-Bey was the intended receiver on a fourth-quarter pass from Carson Palmer when he was hit by Steelers safety Ryan Mundy, whose helmet caught Heyward-Bey across the facemask. Heyward-Bey stayed down on the field for about 10 minutes before being carted off the field and taken to the hospital with a concussion and neck strain. He was released this morning and is expected to make a full recovery.
Asked for his reaction when he watched the play on film, Allen said: "Listen, it's the game of football. I don't think people are trying to go out there and hurt people. I think the safety was playing the game fast and physical. It's a tough game to play when you're making split-second decisions on how you play the game. It's an unfortunate thing that happens in the game, but we move on from it."
After the game, Raiders receiver Derek Hagan and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly were both critical of the fact that no penalty was called.
"Obviously the refs, sometimes they're going to make the calls, sometimes they're not," Hagan said. "I definitely don't want to rip into them, but I really felt like it was one of those calls that should've been made. But they didn't throw the flag, they missed it."
Allen was asked pointedly if he was surprised by the no-call and answered just as pointedly.
"It's a judgment call," he said.
Allen said he talked with Heyward-Bey this morning and that the receiver "sounded tired" but "was in good spirits."
"It was a scary situation, and we're blessed and we're fortunate that he's going to be fine," Allen said. "That's part of this game that we play and it's a tough part of the game, but we're happy that Darrius is going to be fine."
Allen didn't speculate on when Heyward-Bey will be able to return -- he must at least be cleared under the league's concussion protocol first -- and with only four healthy receivers remaining on the active roster, Allen said he and general manager Reggie McKenzie would likely discuss later today whether to add another wideout.
Tight end Brandon Myers, who also suffered a concussion late in the Raiders' 34-31 win over the Steelers, "feels fine, no headaches," Allen said.
"He's still got to go through the protocol of passing all the tests," Allen said. "But it didn't seem to be severe."
-- Matt Kawahara