Running back Terry Metcalf was an NFL 3rd round draft pick in 1974 and played 5 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals before coming north and signing amidst much hoopla with the Toronto Argonauts in 1978.
From 1978 to 1980, Metcalf gained nearly 3300 all purpose yards with the Argos, including 1900 yards rushing and was the subject of much media attention, if not winning seasons.
Metcalf retired from football in 1981 and is now suffering from what he says are major health deficits as the result of multiple concussions suffered while he was playing for the Argonauts.
Mr. Metcalf, who now resides in Seattle said in an interview that the last concussion he received was in a 1980 Toronto home game and “was a pretty good shot.”
“I don’t remember finishing the game,” said Metcalf, adding that he categorized his concussion treatment at the time as “neglectful, nothing, really.”
Now Metcalf, who teaches kindergarten, complains of chronic ringing in his ears, memory issues, and says he has a “50% loss of feeling in (his) right hand.” Mr. Metcalf said his symptoms had been noted when he had been examined by doctors in 2011 for the NFLPA class action suit against the NFL for concussion related injury.
Mr. Metcalf has retained a Canadian lawyer and is intending through counsel to file suit against the CFL for concussion injury.
Metcalf, 63, also complains about his mood saying that he had been “quite depressed in his life” and that he was lately “grumpier, and you can ask my wife about that.”
Perhaps just as troubling is the fact that of the three CFL players who have come forward in the last year complaining about multiple concussion injury-Phil Colwell, Eric Allen and now Terry Metcalf-all three played for the same Toronto team between 1972 and 1980 and all three former players claim deficient or even non-existent concussion medical care.
And in previous interviews, all three former Argo players in question who claim to have suffered concussions while playing for Toronto had, according to a source, been treated by the same group of medical and training personnel at the time of injury, and afterwards.
Those familiar with a 2013 story on the Concussion Blog on former Argo Phil Colwell
who was knocked unconscious in a 1981 game, will recall that he claimed the only medical advice given to him at the time was to not go to sleep the night of the injury, and was in fact allowed to drive himself (70 miles) home after the game.
Colwell, who is also suing the CFL, said that he returned to play one week after his 1981 KO hit and further said that “at the time, if I had gone on the injury list for a concussion, I would have been cut.”
And Colwell, who nearly became homeless earlier this year pulls no punches when it comes to his current situation: “The CFL stole my brain, ” he said, “maybe I’ll get it back (but) I want memories, not money.”
Also in a previous Concussion Blog story, former Argonaut Eric “The Flea” Allen described his treatment after concussion by the Argo medical and training staff in question as “I don’t think (they) looked at me.”
Mr. Allen, 65, who is also in the process of suing the CFL is now no longer able to walk and is for the most part bedridden with severe vertigo.
And while there would seem to be a common thread with the three former Argo players claiming to have had similar experiences with the Argo staff after suffering concussion injury, a source speaking on condition of anonymity said that there are many more former players from different CFL teams who had the same basic after concussion injury treatment and many of them would be coming forward in the future.