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