It is being reported the Jay Cutler, quarterback for the Chicago Bears, is cleared to return after his concussion on Monday Night Football against the Giants over 10 days ago. However, they are now reporting that this is his 5th known concussion which leads us to a good point.
The old grading scale used to have limits to playing contact sports if you had sustained multiple concussions. The thought process has changed, and no longer is a certain number a disqualification for the athlete. Every person reacts differently to a concussion, therefore there is not an all encompassing number that would be “too many” for someone.
As long as the individual has FULLY recovered from the concussion and can pass the graded return to play criteria they would be allowed to play contact sports. But, with each successive concussion it becomes harder to progress in a timely manner, as your brain has been compromised previously, it is now working harder to do the same work. Once you have had a concussion you are more susceptible for another concussion.
What we need to understand and be aware for is the multiple concussions in the adolescent, in particular getting concussed before all brain function and symptoms have resolved. It is of my professional opinion that if you have kids getting 3 or more concussions in a high school career, it is time to take a closer look at what they are doing. And with each successive one it may be time to limit their actions, or make severe corrections in their actions.