Posted January 28, 2014

ESPN survey reveals 85 percent of players would play Super Bowl with concussion

NFL
Bernard Pollard (right) re-broke six ribs tackling Vernon Davis in last year's Super Bowl. (Harry E. Walker/Getty Images)

Bernard Pollard (right) re-broke six ribs tackling Vernon Davis in last year’s Super Bowl. (Harry E. Walker/Getty Images)

Of 320 players polled in a survey by ESPN’s NFL Nation, 85 percent said they would play in the Super Bowl with a concussion, reports ESPN.com’s John Keim.

“We are competitors. We want to go out there and entertain. That’s all we are. We’re entertainers. Guys want to go out there,” said Titans safety Bernard Pollard, who re-broke six ribs in last year’s Super Bowl while with the Ravens and continued playing. “They don’t want to let themselves down. They don’t want to let their teammates down. They want to go out there and play, not thinking about, ‘OK what can this affect later on down the line.’”

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When asked the survey question, London Fletcher, a 16-year veteran who likely just finished his last NFL season, responded, “Did 100 percent say yes?”

“If it’s something where I’m having just a few symptoms and can hide it from the trainer, then yeah, I would do it,” Fletcher said. “With some of them, you get in a game and you can’t play.”

However, the severity of concussions may be getting through to younger players. Eddie Lacy, an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate who missed a game this season with a concussion, said he likely wouldn’t risk playing with such a “serious injury.”

Another Redskins player declined to comment on the record, fearing he’d send the wrong message to youth players.

Added Saints tackle Zach Strief, an eight-year veteran out of Northwestern: “I wouldn’t come back into a game dizzy or nauseous. You’re not going to help your team any if you come back in all messed up. The old ‘you got your bell rung’ mentality has to change. I would never do something I felt was risking something that would be permanent or affected me down the road.”

In a USA Today poll, also released Monday, 46 percent of 293 players surveyed from 20 NFL teams said knees or other parts of their legs were the body part they were most concerned about injuring. Only 24 percent answered with head or neck injuries, 26 percent said none and the other 4 percent said other body parts.

“Anytime you can avoid hits to the head it’s great,” Chicago Bears running back Michael Bush said, “but if you get hit in your knees, that’s your career.”

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8 comments
WbfHaddock
WbfHaddock

More and more parents will be saying no way to letting their kids play football. The cost is too high.

S6
S6

100% of them would sue later. 

bawgs
bawgs

The players are sooo outraged at the NFL for covering up information about concussions and filed that huge lawsuit against them, but then freely admit that they'd play anyway knowing the risks. I'm certainly not giving the NFL a pass for hiding information that could be detrimental to the players, but the player's hypocrisy is somewhat alarming as well.

6marK6
6marK6

I wouldn't, I mean, you won't even remember having  played in the game.

PWINGS
PWINGS

@bawgs  Hypocrisy is a poor word choice IMO. "Job insecurity" and "loyalty" are more appropriate descriptions of their motivations. Most money in an NFL contract is NOT guaranteed like an NBA contract or any work agreement that any of us would consider a "contract". If a player is a low round draft pick or undrafted free agent, their job is ALWAYS at risk and getting cut because you're considered "brittle" or "selfish" is always a concern. 

Secondly, loyalty to the team is something that's taught to players from day one in a youth league. It's no different than the loyalty that veterans feel when they're sent back for 2nd or 3rd tours of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. The players are simply doing what they've been taught and "conditioned" to do for years.

Thirdly, "fans" such as yourself are openly critical of players like Jay Cutler and LaDainion Tomlinson for NOT playing injured in playoff games. If you want an example of "hypocrisy", that would be more appropriate than faulting players who are willing to play while injured.

rhurley31
rhurley31

Seriously comparing veterans to football players.  I'm sure the families would really appreciate that comparison.  Football is war, right??  Playing football is in theory secondary to their schooling. The idea is to play football while they can and then fall back and find a career in their chosen field from which they graduated from. They are willingly choosing to play injured and then turn around and sue the NFL.  I agree with bawgs that the NFL needs to be held accountable for anything they hide, or trying to force players to play and that has been evident in the past.  With everything in the public eye, no player should have the excuse they were doing what they thought they needed to do.  They too have responsibility for their actions without using the NFL as an excuse for long term consequences.  If a person from a low income neighborhood becomes a drug dealer because of peer pressure do they get a complete pass when they get in a bad situation, give drugs to a kid that overdoses, or kills someone when a deal goes bad.  In the end, we're all responsible for our actions regardless if we're able to successfully blame someone afterwards.


PWINGS
PWINGS

@rhurley31  Soldiers are held up as role models to football players so the similarity is closer than you would like to acknowledge. As Vietnam so clearly illustrated, wounded warriors, like injured athletes, are quickly forgotten and treated as a disposable commodity.

On the other hand, if we accept your logic, then wounded military veterans also made choices to enlist and accept multiple deployments, knowing the possible consequences. Therefore, they should not be treated as heroes nor should they receive proper medical care for the injuries they incur. "They knew what they were getting into" as well. That's the logical conclusion of your logic and NO!, I don't share that logic at all.