Questions in Pittsburgh

The handling of concussions in professional sports have been the easy target of people like me in the past.  The hope was that with more stringent safeguards and protocols that this would not be an issue for much longer.  The NFL has been an easy “whipping boy” because of its high visibility and constant coverage; now 2012 has its first head scratcher.

In the same game that Austin Collie was removed and sustained a possible career threatening concussion a rookie running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers had a run in with a concussion, or so it seemed.  According to Ralph N. Paulk of TribLIVE, Rainey may have been allowed to play with injury, brain injury that is;

Chris Rainey repeatedly shook his head in an effort to clear the cobwebs after getting KO’d by Indianapolis cornerback Jerraud Powers in the first quarter of the Steelers’ 26-24 preseason victory Sunday night.

The rookie running back grudgingly relented to tests after being diagnosed with concussion symptoms by team medical personnel. After struggling to make it to the locker room, the fifth-round pick returned late in the second quarter.

The subjective description of how he went to the locker room added with the mechanism injury (see picture at link) would have been my first clue that the player in question was suffering.  Add into the description by the player and it becomes a “no-brainer’; Continue reading

Playing With Fire

We have discussed how playing with a brain injury can be dangerous; more immediately dangerous for the younger athlete.  However, continually disturbing the brain while it is recovering only prolongs the issue and is a detriment to long-term brain health.  This is the part of sports that gives credence to the awareness and education initiative.

Apparently the NFL, specifically the Pittsburgh Steelers, does not fully grasp everything involved with and around concussions.  I would think that of all the teams that should be well versed in the history of concussions and health risks it would be the former employer of Mike Webster.  Along with Webster, the Steelers have been on the cutting edge of research, perhaps not the team – rather those that are associated with them: Continue reading

Heath Miller Has Setback

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Heath Miller, TE for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sustained a concussion in Week 13 after a vicious hit was practicing as recently as yesterday.  However, today @jimwexell tweeted: Heath’s having headaches. I expect him to miss Sunday. Troy limping more this week. Wouldn’t comment.

After practicing yesterday, Miller did not practice today.  For further information on Miller you can visit SteelCityInsider.

Did they rush Miller back to quickly?  No need to even speculate, as concussion recovery is based largely on the injured individual’s symptom reporting.  It is good to see that Miller did report the headaches, or worsening of the headaches, to the team.