Josh Rosen: ESPN questioning my toughness was ‘frustrating’
Josh Rosen is on track to play for UCLA this Saturday against Arizona State but first must be completely cleared from concussion protocol. The game would be his first since suffering a concussion against Washington two weeks ago that led to questions about his toughness, which the junior quarterback found to be unfair.
Rosen spoke with the media on Wednesday for the first time since leaving the game against the Huskies in the third quarter. He was asked about his concussion and revealed he suffered it on the Bruins’ first drive of the game, meaning he played two and a half quarters while concussed.
Rosen didn’t leave the game until midway through the third quarter. At that time, UCLA reporters were unsure why Rosen had left the game. ESPN, which showed Rosen’s hand bleeding, reported on its broadcast that Rosen left the game due to a finger injury. When Rosen returned from the locker room onto the field in the third quarter, he was in street clothes. Believing that Rosen stopped playing because of a finger injury, ESPN began questioning Rosen’s toughness. Announcers Bob Wischusen and Brock Huard started talking about how scouts will view Rosen for leaving the game. Even sideline reporter Allison Williams questioned the QB’s leadership.
UCLA head coach Jim Mora defended Rosen and lashed back at ESPN for questioning the QB. It was only revealed days later when Rosen didn’t make the trip to Utah that the QB was recovering from a concussion. It wasn’t until Wednesday that we learned the concussion was suffered in the first few minutes of the game against Washington.
As for the questions from ESPN about his toughness, Rosen says that was “frustrating.”
“It was frustrating,” Rosen said Wednesday, via ESPN’s Edward Aschoff. “I just feel like people should make opinions and speak once they have all the information. It’s kind of frustrating for people to speak prematurely.”
He was also asked about his finger injury, which is what ESPN’s broadcast team thought was the reason why he left the game.
“That was just blood. It didn’t hurt at all. I don’t know why everyone went crazy off of that. That didn’t even hurt. It was just blood they were cleaning up,” Rosen said.
In the end, this is a good example of why media outlets should wait for more information before judging athletes when it comes to sensitive subjects. The announcing team has a responsibility to the thousands watching the game to provide information and analysis, not to damage a young man’s character by speaking while lacking critical information.