Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew wonders how much of the NFL’s attempts to stop or correctly treat concussions have to do with legal actions brought by previous players against the league and its groups.
The NFL’s leading rusher spoke out about the issue again Wednesday, nearly a week after telling the press he would hide a probable head injury so he could stay in a game. Las Vegas odds
“I’ve had concussions before, and it wasn’t this massive deal about concussions,” Jones-Drew recounted. “The only reason they make a big deal about concussions right now is usually because the league is getting sued over it. Before this, you have never heard about it. A couple of years ago, you didn’t hear anything about it.”
After NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was grilled about his sport’s concussion policies at a congressional hearing in October 2009, the league made several serious changes. Those moves have continued, including this month’s addition of certificated athletic trainers sitting in booths during games to keep an eye open for possible head injuries and alert groups’ medical staffs.
Starting this summer, at least eight suits have been filed against the NFL by lots of retired players who say they have medical issues related to brain wounds from their time in pro football. The NFL’s position, in part, is that players knew there were hazards of injury, and there wasn’t any misconduct or liability on the league’s part. Vegas odds
Jones-Drew called the possibility of bad injury in soccer an “occupational hazard.”
He was one of 44 players the press interviewed recently about concussions. Slightly over half — 23 — asserted they would attempt to hide a concussion and stay in a game instead of pull themselves out.
Players sometimes indicated they are more aware now of the probable long term results of jarring hits to the helmet. Five announced that while they might have tried to hide a concussion during a game in 2009, now they might seek help.
Players further said they should be more protected from their own instincts. More than two-thirds of the group the press talked to would like to have independent neurologists on sidelines during games.
“You know playing football you’re going to get hurt, right?” Jones-Drew announced Wednesday. “In the back of your gourd you’ve got to know the worst that may happen is you can break your neck and be paralyzed for the rest of your life, right? You’ve got to go into each game knowing that might be what occurs. Any given play that might happen to you, right? So there it is. When you sign these deals, you know in the back of your gourd that’s what can happen.
“Now basketball, on the other hand, it’s a different sport. Race auto driving, you know that when you get in that auto, there can be an opportunity for that thing to flip over and catch aflame. You see what I say? It’s an occupational danger, easy as that, and you have got to be willing to accept it, and I am.”
Jones-Drew reiterated that he’s taking the danger due to his folks and stated that he heartily believes NFL teams would be reluctant to sign players with a record of concussions. So he would hide a concussion to stay in a game, whether or not it meant increased potential for long term health worries.
“I would do just about anything for my kids,” he revealed. “If they’re cheerful, I’m satisfied. I suspect they might appreciate it. So long as my kids ‘ children would be happy with what I did, that is what this life is about : sacrifice. It isn’t about you any longer, you know?”