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
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
Clearly the decision to let Mike Vick play this week has come under some scrutiny from many sources. I have been asked many times my thoughts on this issue as well; it is much more difficult to take a stance on something that really none of us know first hand. That being said there is no reason anyone cannot give an opinion on the matter.
Barbara Barker of Newsday sought out two opinions; one from a former player and another from an authority in concussions;
“I’m going to be watching him to see how he responds after he gets hit,” said former Giants linebacker and Hall of Famer Harry Carson, who suffered multiple concussions in the course of his career and has been diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. “I’m sure he’ll go out there and do well, but if he doesn’t and gets hit the right way, there’s no telling what might happen.”
“Frankly, even from a fan’s perspective and even with someone as good as Michael Vick, I would have been happier to see them err on the side of caution,” Nowinski said. “Another concussion right now is the worst-case scenario. Michael Vick could be the Sidney Crosby of the NFL.”
I believe that there are more than Carson, Nowinski, and myself Continue reading
Sunday Night Football (TM by NBC and NFL) was going to be a good watch with Mike Vick returning to his original place of employment. Not only was that an underlying tone, the Atlanta Falcons faced an early season “must win”, the first half it did not disappoint as both teams scored and forced mistakes from the other team. As the second half began it looked as though the visiting Eagles were going to take full control of the game, and to be honest my interest started to wane a bit, then Dunta Robinson happened again. It was his hit in Week 6 last year that started the avalanche of eyes on concussions in the NFL. Tonight he basically did the same thing – the hit seen below (will be removed by NFL) and should be met with both a fine and suspension – and brought attention to the broadcast for what became a massive debacle in my opinion.
Later in the drive, not only did Jeremy Maclin return to the game after the hit from Robinson (and being “down”), he caught a pass from Vick, but behind the play Vick was injured. As you can see Continue reading