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