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NFL Faces More Bad Optics on Head Injury Problem

Football is a tough game for anyone who puts on a uniform and heads out on the field each week.  However, for decades, the public and National Football League (NFL) was willing to just consider that part of the game.  In fact, it is nearly impossible to watch an entire football game without seeing at least one, if not more, players being escorted off the field after being injured.  This is not just anecdotal, since the detailed statistics kept by the league and the media show this to be a fact.

football3It is also true that professional football is not as popular as it once was in terms of television viewer ratings.  There have been many reasons floated around this season for what this is.  Some argue that it is because the primetime match-ups like Sunday Night Football are simply not as interesting as they once were.  Others argue that it is the increase in the amount of calls and time outs as result of the officials.  Others argue that is because people are tired of watching and waiting for players to suffer a serious head injury that results in a potential career ending traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Regardless of what the reason may be for the decline in television viewership, there is no question that concussions are a serious problem.   However, sometimes it is easy to just focus on the statistics and not the human side of what it means to suffer a serious head injury.

According to a recent news article from the Washington Post, watching Luke Kuechly, a Carolina Panthers player, crying on the way off the field in first aid golf car, allows us to put that much needed human face on what it means to suffer a head injury. As the author discusses, this is not something we normally get to see.  Even though head injuries happen live all the time during football games, we do not usually get an extended close-up view of the injuries players face.  Normally we see a player covered by various trainers and coaches and then getting helped off the field and out of sight.

We are told he is being evaluated pursuant to the standard concussion protocols that are now in place, but to us this seems like more of an abstract concept.   This time, the fans had front row seats to see the look of pain and confusion on the athlete in the face of a potential head injury, though it should be noted that we do not yet know whether he has, in fact, suffered a concussion or other type of brain injury; however, we do know that he has suffered at last one concussion in the past, and that makes him statistically more likely to suffer from one again.

As our Boston personal injury lawyers have seen in far too many cases, there is a very real consequence for brain injury victims and their families, and it is hard to even imagine the extent to which lives can change.

If you have suffered personal injury in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

A crying Luke Kuechly puts a human face on head injuries, November 18, 2016, By Matt Bonesteel, Washington Post

More Blog Entries:

Eye Test as Means to Test for Concussion and Brain Injury, July 23, 2016, Boston Brain Injury Lawyer Blog