The talk about concussions in the NFL has always been around, but has heated up in the last few years. Players have been experiencing side effects and or death associated with head injuries and many have come back to sue the NFL for not better protecting them. With more research, men and women in the medical field are finding concussions have direct relationships with memory loss, depression, and suicide in ex-NFL players.
NFL heads and officials are being proactive in trying to prevent them from occurring when we watch our favorite teams meet up on Sunday. However there is no way to get every player on board with the new system or to keep every concussion from happening around the league. Unfortunately, in the hard-hitting NFL, they are bound to occur.
Last Sunday, the word “concussion” was on the tip of everyone’s tongue and shed a brighter spotlight on the issue. Three separate star quarterbacks fell victim to hard hits that put them on the sidelines with head injuries. Of the three teams in question, only one will get their starting quarterback back to action in week eleven.
The Bears will be starting the game on Monday night against San Francisco, with back-up quarterback Jason Campbell. According to the team’s website, Jay Cutler has yet to return to practice since the illegal hit he took from Dobbins last week. Though Dobbins was fined $30,000 by the league, the Bears may be in more trouble if they can’t get Cutler back soon. The team is fighting for a playoff spot and is forced to start a quarterback, in Cutler’s absence, that hasn’t played in a game since October 16th of last year.
Michael Vick has also been ruled out of the Eagles match up this week against the Washington Redskins. Vick took two big hits against Dallas last week, so it is unsure when his occurred. He, like Cutler, also did not practice at all this week. Rookie Nick Foles will get his first NFL start in Michael Vick’s place. This situation is a little different for the Eagles, though. After a fast start, the team plummeted and many blamed Vick. So the starting quarterback’s concussion may the start of a long career for the rookie.
The 49ers starting quarterback, Alex Smith, is the only one of the three quarterbacks suffering from week 10 concussions that is slated for a return when his team plays on Monday Night against Cutler’s Bears. Though Smith is able to return from his head injury on Monday, the team will still have to take extra care with him on the field. Currently, Alex Smith is the 4th most sacked quarterback in the league.
One-third of the players able to get back into action one week later is not good news for the concussion debate in the NFL. Though, many improvements have been made to equipment and hitting styles, it is evident after last week that something needs to change. I agree with critics that say these guys know what they are signing up for when they cash their checks. However, when you work in a deli, aren’t you also confirming that you may lose all of your fingers to the meat slicer? You would want to be protected and they deserve the same.