The NFL’s concussion protocol states that players with concussions must be cleared by an independent neurologist before they can return, although not all players and coaches follow these protocols. NFL players are combatant athletes who want to continue playing after each and every hit. But, this fighting spirit can be too dangerous sometimes, as we have seen earlier with the incident when 49ers’ Adam Smith continued playing with a blurred vision after suffering a concussion in an NFL game.
The New York Times writes that in incidents like this the greatest pressure lies on the doctors, “whose delicate decisions about when to clear the quarterbacks will be scrutinized, and which could alter the shape of the season”. But, this issue needs to be addressed, and luckily for the players, the media is starting to reveal the dangers of concussions in the NFL.
“I am so glad that finally the dangerous reality of concussions from football has become a spotlight in the media. Children look up to these NFL athletes and try to emulate them. The younger the person sustaining the concussion, the more dangerous the concussion. Tackle football should be outlawed below a certain age,” explains Manhattan Orhopaedic Care physician, Dr. Armin Tehrany.
According to USA Today, head injuries during NFL games highlight “football’s intrinsic danger, the difficulty of diagnosing concussions — it’s hard to believe any club would endanger its most high-profile players — and perhaps players’ continued attempts to mask their conditions and play on. It’s an issue that won’t go away but will remain a very problematic one for the league to solve“.