49ers’ Smith Illustrate Difficulty Of the NFL Concussion Issue

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San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Alex Smith managed to throw a 14-yard touchdown pass against the Rams while having blurred vision and a concussion. Is this amazing skill? Or is it utter madness for NFL players with concussions to continue playing with a serious injury?

Concussion

(Image courtesy of Bleacherreport.com)

“Playing with blurred vision is extremely dangerous! He needs a special brain MRI that now rules out damage to blood vessels in the brain. If the damage is bad enough, the player should stay off the field for the season. Also, he may be a candidate for hyperbaric oxygen therapy… a new and very promising therapy that Ray Lewis has used.”, explains Manhattan Orhopedic Care physician, Dr. Armin Tehrany.

This is quite an astonishing incident that reveals how concussions in the NFL are becoming a dangerous issue. Alex Smith was hit hard in the back of the neck by St. Louis linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, with just a minute left in the first quarter. Smith managed to stand up, put his face mask on and got back in position. It may be luck that the incident occurred at the end of the quarter because he avoided further hits.

Coach Jim Harbaugh expressed concerns that the 28-year old NFL quarterback played with concussion symptoms. But he also stated that the reaction of player to get up and continue with play does not really tell of how hard he was hit.

“Yeah, that’s something, you don’t want him out there with blurred vision,” Harbaugh said. “We talked about it. What he expressed was he came up from the sneak and he had blurred vision, and he felt that it would go away. He came over to the sideline and sat down and felt it would go away, and it didn’t. He told me he had blurred vision, and that’s when we made the move.”

Smith said the symptoms grew worse that night and included nausea, headaches, and blurred vision, but they got better as the week began. The 49ers moved forward thinking that Smith would be the starter against the Bears, but the symptoms returned.

Luckily, after two weeks of recovery, Smith was cleared to play. Last Sunday he helped the 49ers beat the New Orleans Saints, with a score of 31-21.