Tag Archives: ProFootballTalk

The Debate of When To Pull A Player

13 Nov

This past week there were some prime examples of concussions, including mechanism of injury and how they are currently handled – some say mishandled – in the National Football League.  Now the debate rages on about when exactly a player should be pulled for evaluation.

In many cases this is absolutely obvious, for example Johnathan Baldwin of the Kansas City Chiefs last night in Pittsburgh.  As he laid out for a catch his head bounced off the ground and he immediately showed a fencing response and was “limp” on the field in a semi-prone position.  He “came to” and tried to get to his feet, key word being “tried”, as he was wobbly and needed help from a teammate and the official to stand.  The official then summoned the athletic trainers to aid in getting him off the field; it was obvious that Baldwin needed to be evaluated for a concussion (side note: the Chiefs are calling his injury a “neck”, which he could have hurt on that play but once again its an attempt to muddy the water, IMO).

To the credit of the NFL medical staffs these types of situations are rarely missed anymore, especially with the observer in the press box helping with the identification of potential head injuries.  I would dare say that these type of situations are missed more often at college, high school and youth level football games than the professional level; which is way more disturbing.

However, the debate remains about those players that don’t show overt signs of Continue reading

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Dorsett Talks About His Battle

6 Jun

Tony Dorsett, NFL Hall of Fame member, was one of the most high-profile players to join the ever-growing law suits against the NFL.  It may have shocked some, however his name and now his words only go to help with the awareness of concussions, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk writes;

“There are some good days and there are some bad days,” Dorsett told the Beaver County (Pa.) Times earlier this week, in connection with the 20th annual Tony Dorsett/McGuire Memorial Celebrity Golf Classic.  “So I am being proactive instead of inactive.”

Dorsett works out regularly and eats well, and he’s considering experimentation wit a hyperbaric chamber, a device Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin recently said he may use to assist with the health of his brain.

“I can slow the process down . . . there’s optimism about that,” Dorsett said.  “I feel if I can slow it down, I can stop it.  I’m not waiting to see if I’ll be nonfunctional.”

Dorsett believes that the concussion lawsuits, which now involve more than Continue reading

Ricky Being Ricky

16 May

Aloof, that is one way to characterize Ricky Williams.  The one time dominant running back in the sport of football who retired early to pursue “peace” and smoke dope only to come back to earn more money has discounted the link of repeated brain trauma and degenerative brain diseases, written up by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk;

But as his career ends (even though some think he’ll be back), Williams dismisses the link between concussions and brain damage.

Which perhaps conclusively proves it.[...]

“I’m only speaking from my personal experience, because I haven’t allowed myself to buy it, and I haven’t been affected.  Yes, I’m aware that football is a rough sport, but instead of saying, ‘Oh — I’m doomed to brain trauma,” I said, ‘What can I do about it?’  And I just started taking care of my body.  I found people, places, and things that really helped me — again, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me in 10 years, but I look at the other things I’ve learned about, and the way I see the world.

Maybe it was his dreadlocks that provided extra protection when he played, or perhaps Continue reading

Monday Morning Weekend Review

30 Apr

There has been a lot of press about concussions the past weekend, mainly due to the NFL draft, however much information is out there (thanks to Concerned Mom for highlighting some in the comment section).  Here is a quick rundown with links that I find interesting.

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk makes some great points about NFL litigation and actual player concern;

Supporting that contention will be the fact that no NFL player has retired due to fear of potential harm from concussions.  Yes, some have retired due to the immediate consequences of multiple concussions.  But no NFL player, current or prospective, has passed on playing football at its highest level due merely to the fear that the player may suffer one or more concussions that may cause problems for him later in life.[...]

That’s not to say that claims regarding the NFL’s failure to take meaningful steps before 2009 to protect players from concussions will lack merit.  But as players who now know all they need to know about the risks associated with playing football continue to flock to the NFL, it will be harder and harder to get a judge or a jury to accept that players would have walked away from the sport if they had known then what all players know now.

Agreed on all fronts with Florio here, its tough to sell an Continue reading

Sunday Recap

7 Nov

As Football Sunday played out yesterday there was more attention on the head injury issue; naturally because the NFL set in motion – if only through reinforcement – a system to get players off the field in cases of overt signs.  The concern for head injury actually began two plays in, in New Orleans.

Tracy Porter collided with receiver Mike Williams and was obviously stunned and unsteady.  Porter took a knee for a brief second before he crumpled to the ground where he was attended to; spine board and med evac later Porter was released from an area hospital (BTW they are listing this as a “neck” injury).

==========

Not long after that, Dustin Keller of the Jets jumped in the air and landed on his back/head.  The officials did a good job of summonsing the med staff to Keller.  Keller was subsequently removed evaluated on the sideline and locker room, where it was determined that he did not suffer a concussion.  In an extremely rare occurrence, the Jets medical staff answered questions Continue reading

Kris Dielman Incident

29 Oct

Mike Florio has been hot on the concussion subject from the beginning of the season, pointing out potential flaws and “double-standards” that have presented themselves.  As we mentioned in the Week 7 Report, Kris Dielman of the Chargers sustained a blow that showed OVERT signs of a brain injury and he continued to play.  Not only that on the plane flight home he encountered a grand mal seizure, another very serious sign of brain injury.

Apparently the league looks into all injuries, but this one will garner a much different set of eyes; the circumstances surrounding the concussion (diagnosed AFTER the game) will be scrutinized;

Far more troubling than the fact that Dielman suffered a seizure on the flight home from New York after a loss to the Jets is the fact that Dielman exhibited enough signs of wooziness and disorientation to mandate an immediate evaluation.

For those of you who have the game stored on a DVR or access to NFL.com’s Game Rewind service, fast forward to 12:30 of the fourth quarter.  On that play, Dielman pulls from his left guard position toward the right side of the line, dropping his head to block Jets linebacker Calvin Pace.  Dielman then reels away from the block, takes several steps, and lands on the ground.  He stumbles to his feet, and Jim Nantz of CBS points out that Dielman is “a little shaky and wobbly.”

You know the rest of the story from here.  The typical coach speak after the event by Norv Turner not only made me cringe, but Florio also seems to think the same thing; Continue reading

The Need for Indpendent Evaluators on NFL Sidelines

20 Oct

We have discussed the NFL policy on concussions from preseason until last week when we discussed the apparent “dirt in the eye” issue that Vick dealt with.  We have even delved into some of the concerns and issues that face team medical staff’s when dealing with injuries, especially with high-profile athletes;

This has been a major issue in all professional sports; who pulls the most weight?  The athlete, coach, agent, owner or medical staff.  I would like to think that the organization would hire very competent medical staff’s (except some “team doctors” actually pay for the privilege), that would make decisions based upon safety.  I do know the AT’s do get a check from the organization so if they are hired by the club then shouldn’t they be listened to?  I mean, coaches are hired to make play calls and players are hired to run said plays, do the organizations meddle in their business (see Jerry Jones).  I would expect that teams would allow the AT’s and doctors to do what is right, and with that hope that the medical teams forgo score/importance and be proactive.

There was a specific line in the most recent NFL memo that sparked the above comment from me; “the NFL is telling medical staffs that they have the authority Continue reading

Refreshing Comments From Florio

3 Oct

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk does a great job of covering the NFL.  He has great observations and fact based information that those who read about the league find informative and refreshing.  One such entry from Florio came today in his Week 4 10-pack;

5.  League’s concussion procedures continue to cause skepticism.

Time and again, we see a player who apparently has suffered a concussion, but whose injury receives a different label altogether.  Whether it’s neck or head or jaw, teams know that mere utterance of the “c” word knocks a guy out for the entire game.

On Sunday, the Steelers said that linebacker James Harrison suffered an eye injury.  Harrison insists that he didn’t suffer a concussion, claiming that the forehead pad in his helmet hit him in the eye after he made a tackle.

The only problem with this is that the injury appeared to happen on a helmet-to-helmet hit from Texans left tackle Duane Brown, and the video doesn’t show any padding sliding into Harrison’s eye.  And he didn’t make the tackle on the play. Continue reading

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