2012 Footy Concussion Report #2

It is a good time to update what is happening Down Under as the Footy season is now in Round 18 (of 25) and after my interview on FiveAA radio in South Australia and the Kurt Tippet debate that is at least getting our attention (bold for emphasis);

Coach Brenton Sanderson expected the Crows star will resume training next week and return for the round-19 match against Essendon, but said the club would take no chances.

“I’m sure we’re going to see him back really soon,” Sanderson said on Wednesday.

“Hopefully, that’s next week but we’ll make sure we make the right decision.

“We’re not going to force him to go back out and play.

“He’s got to be comfortable, the medical team’s got to be comfortable and, as coaches, we’ve got to be comfortable with selecting him, knowing he’s going to be OK.”

Tippett suffered another head injury in the second quarter of the Crows’ win over West Coast at Football Park last weekend and was subbed out just after half-time.

It was his third concussion in just over a month and raised concerns over his long-term future.

As I stated in my interview the question of a NFL football player playing after a third concussion in five weeks is almost laughable, we rarely see three concussions in a single season, Ben Watson of the Browns last year being the only one we have found.

After the interview I did as much research as I could on Tippett and his injuries; what I found disturbing was that the “head knocks” that he took after the first concussion listed, in their Round 12, seemed to be “less” traumatic.  Meaning simply that it took far less force and disruption to create a concussive injury.  This is the huge problem with concussions, if they are not managed correctly the next concussion OR continuation of the original concussion can be brought on by less forces.

If I were to advise Mr. Tippett it would be similar to what I would tell any athlete that had three concussions in a 40 day period, time to shut it down.  It could be for the season, or it could be for a month; everyone responds differently to brain injury – but training in a few days time or playing in a week would be completely out of the question.  I am certain that the physios and docs abroad will address this issue with the Crows and Tippett; one thing they do not want to happen is to have the youth emulate Mr. Tippett by playing though/with a concussion, let alone three.  The league and club must remember that their actions are “copied” by the young players playing their sport.

Now on to our data collection for the Footy season so far, 45 concussions found in 17 weeks of action for 2.64 concussions per round of games.  This is number that far outpaces last years totals FOR THE SEASON (46 total, 1.91/round).  Here is further information;

  • Only one team has yet to report a concussion: Gold Coast
  • Two teams have listed 7 concussions (some by Fink’s Rule): Adelaide and Fremantle
  • Speaking of Fink’s Rule there are 9 players that have fallen into this category
  • My conclusion about the season as a whole still stands


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