The NFL can only do so much when it comes to players dealing with head injuries. Doctors and trainers rely on people to report their symptoms in order to be able to diagnose some sort of injury or condition. If people like Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman manage to mask those symptoms, things can get complicated.
In an article he wrote for Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, Sherman admitted that he was playing through a concussion the first time he intercepted an NFL pass. It happened against the Cincinnati Bengals during Week 8 of the 2011 season.
“On the game’s seventh play, I trailed my receiver down the left sideline and looked back to see Andy Dalton toss it underneath to Chris Pressley, their 260-pound fullback,” Sherman said. “As he turned up the sideline I came down hard, squared up, and dove at his legs. His right knee connected with my temple, flipping him over my head. I got up quickly and shook my head back and forth to let them know nobody is running me over.”
The recollection gets downright frightening from there.
“The problem was that I couldn’t see,” Sherman wrote. “The concussion blurred my vision and I played the next two quarters half-blind, but there was no way I was coming off the field with so much at stake. It paid off: Just as my head was clearing, Andy Dalton lobbed one up to rookie A.J. Green and I came down with my first career interception. The Legion of Boom was born.”
The Legion of Boom is what Sherman and the other Seahawks defensive backs call themselves. Sherman added that NFL players understand the dangers associated with the sport and are willing to take the risk. And if Roger Goodell hadn’t already cringed enough when hearing Sherman’s comments, there’s also this:
“And the next time I get hit in the head and I can’t see straight, if I can, I’ll get back up and pretend like nothing happened. Maybe I’ll even get another pick in the process.”
The NFL has improved its concussion testing system since 2011, but this type of thing still happens on a weekly basis. A Pittsburgh Steelers running back admitted earlier this year that he went back into a game despite having a concussion. In all likelihood, it’s a part of the game that can never be fully eliminated.
H/T Eye on FootballGoogle+