Granted TJ Ward led with his shoulder, he was in fact targeting his head. Although I cannot tell you what Ward was thinking that is what this shows. Hits like this have a trickle down effect, all the way to high school, and the NFL should be very thoughtful of this when dealing out punishment.
Dallas Cowboy Jason Witten took a shot to the head in the game Sunday versus the Chicago Bears. He rose to his feet, albeit, very unsteady, was encouraged to leave the field by an offensive lineman. He did not return and was diagnosed with a concussion. The medical staff did a wonderful job in this guys opinion.
Hunter Hillenmeyer was placed on a season ending Injured Reserve. According to the Chicago Tribune Hillenmyer believes that he is suffering from the continual effects of a concussion sustained in the preseason.
However there is a unique quality to this particular case, and that is the fact the Hillenmyer is one of the NFL players that have made the decision to donate their brain for NFL research. This of course will happen after he has a long and wonderful life. The NFL and others are interested in the long-term effect of multiple concussions and how they may relate to Traumatic encephalopathy.
Hillenmyer is also one of the most active advocates for player safety, where his personal focus has been concussions.
The issue arose when Stewart Bradley took a hit and struggled to get to his feet, and when he did, he did his best interpretation of a “punch-drunk” boxer. That was an OBVIOUS sign of a mTBI/Concussion and should have been disqualified from further activity. However, the medical staff did not see any of this as they were tending to a previous head injury sustained by Kevin Kolb. Both players returned to play in the 2nd quarter and did not play again after the half.
According to the linked article, courtesy of ESPN and Sal Paolantonio, both players regressed in their initial on the field evaluation during half time, and were sidelined.
Andy Reid, the Eagles head coach, was also supportive of the initial decision for them to return-to-play. Now the team will not practice either player until Friday at the earliest and continue to monitor their injuries.
As one can see there are issues with the RTP of concussions, at all levels. But more importantly we can see that the injury known as a concussion is very different in presentation and resolving. The great thing is that more and more people are aware, the next step is getting a policy in place that everyone can agree on.
More will be reported as the injury reports come out on Tuesday and this should be updated. The next post on this subject will be the next injury report and we will list all the reported “head” and “concussion” injuries.