Calvin Johnson and the NFL have very different views on the issue of concussions. The league has spent a good deal of time, money and effort over the past couple of years trying to make the game of football safer — or at least create the illusion that they are doing so. Team doctors now have the authority to keep players off the field if they fail concussion tests, but none of us are naive enough to think it is that cut and dry.
According to Johnson, who took a helmet-to-helmet shot from Minnesota’s Chad Greenway two weeks ago, getting a concussion and heading back onto the field is all part of the game.
“He rung my bell pretty good, he got me, he caught me around the chin, that was a good hit,” Johnson told The Stoney and Bill Show on 97.1 The Ticket, according to CBS Detroit. “It’s a part of football, you get concussed, you gotta keep on playing. You can’t get afraid to go across the middle any more than you were at the beginning.”
Johnson said the Lions medical staff gave him a basic concussion test that included following their finger and answering questions about what day of the week it was and what game he was playing in. On Thursday, head coach Jim Schwartz said Megatron was thoroughly evaluated before reentering the game.
“Our evaluation was he was not concussed, he was thoroughly checked, we are very strong in our evaluation,” Schwartz explained. “He was cleared to go back in the game … We are very strong in our evaluation. We are, we as an organization, we have some credibility when it comes to concussions, so just leave it at that.”
This past weekend, Robert Griffin III reportedly failed the same type of test Johnson was given and did not return to the game, so obviously the issue is taken seriously. That being said, in an era where players choose law school over football because of the risk of head injuries and others openly admit to lying about concussion symptoms to get back into a game, the NFL doesn’t want to hear Megatron talking about playing while concussed.
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