Over the past few years, the NFL has tried to implement a strict concussion protocol in order to establish better player safety, and likely, to help avoid any major law-suits in the future. But it sounds like not all the players are holding up their end of the bargain.
Last week, Tom Brady's super model wife Gisele Bündchen may have spilled the beans on "CBS This Morning" that the future HOF QB may have had, and hid, a concussion last season.
“Football, like he had a concussion last year. He has concussions pretty much. I mean, we don’t talk about — he does have concussions. I don’t really think it’s a healthy thing for your body to go through, through that kind of aggression, like, all the time. That cannot be healthy for you, right? I’m planning on him being healthy and doing a lot of fun things when we’re like 100, I hope.”
Brady's camp, for obvious reasons, claimed Gisele was incorrect and that he never suffered any concussions in 2016.
Saints QB Drew Brees chimed in during an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” last week, he told a story about the time he was diagnosed with a concussion while with the Chargers in 2004.
“I knew that something was not right, I knew that I was concussed. But I didn’t take myself out of the game. I mean, I stayed in the game and played as long as I could until finally a coach pulled me aside and was like, ‘I’m looking out for you here, and you’re not gonna play anymore.’ ”
This week, Calvin "Megatron" Johnson, another future HOF player admitted that he "of course" hid concussions during his career.
“Guys get concussions, they don’t tell the coaches, it happens. I don’t tell the coach sometimes cause I know I got a job to do. The team needs me out there on the field. And sometimes you allow that to jeopardize yourself, but that’s just the nature of the world.”
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is taking a different approach. He self-reported a concussion in a November 2015 game against the Seahawks. He took himself out of the game, and Big Ben says he was "proud of it".
“I have been just like Drew [Brees] where I haven’t reported things before either. Probably everybody who has ever played the game of football hasn’t reported an injury. For me it wasn’t about an injury — I’ve played through many injuries — but when you talk about your head, that is a different ball game.”
Regardless of severity, Big Ben knows the head is not something to take lightly. The reality is though, until NFL players are comfortable with losing playing time and possibly a roster spot, players will likely continue to hide injuries like concussions that could prevent them from seeing the playing field, and even a big contract.