Today’s football news surrounding health and safety issues:
* Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson told WXYT-FM in Detroit he may have suffered a concussion on a hit from Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway 11 days ago and subsequently talked himself back into the game two weeks ago.
Johnson was visibly out of it after the collision with Greenway.
“He rung my bell pretty good, he got me, he caught me around the chin, that was a good hit,” Johnson said. “It’s a part of football, you get concussed, you gotta keep on playing. You can’t get afraid to go across the middle any more than you were at the beginning.”
“They come and do the little test with the finger … ask you what day, what game it is, stuff like that,” he said, sounding like he had passed.
A criticism I haven’t seen, however, is that the NCAA doesn’t have a standard procedure for evaluating potential concussions on the sidelines. The NCAA does have a standard policy for players who can be immediately diagnosed with a concussion, and it mandates all schools have a “concussion management plan“ for such players. What it doesn’t seem to have is a standard process outlining exactly how players like Woods should be evaluated.
* The Concussions Hit Home series continues at MLive.com, asking if concussion scares will change participation in youth sports. It also told how helmets offer limited protection in concussion prevention.
* Westport (Conn.) Now wrote about a public screening of the film “Head Games” for parents. The documentary, created by the director of “Hoop Dreams,” looks at concussions in all sports and its ramifications.
* However, MomsTeam.com recently reviewed the film and said it used scare tactics to get discuss head injuries and looked a sliver of the issues involving concussions.
Instead of charting a way forward, instead of advancing the message that, because there is so much about head trauma that we don’t know, the most reasonable approach at this point is to post a yellow “Proceed with Caution” sign while we do what we can to reduce the exposure of young athletes to head trauma and redouble our efforts in concussion protection and risk management, education, research, product development, and treatment, the movie just tries to scare the daylights about of people.
* NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was at a youth football clinic in the Washington D.C. area to discuss safe tackling drills. He also said Washington Redskins quarterback will not return to action until he is deemed symptom free.
On Sunday afternoon against Atlanta, Griffin didn’t know what quarter the game was in, nor did he know the score. That’s not good. The way he plays the game, it’s only a matter of time before he’ll get clobbered outside the pocket once again. We can imagine how we’ll all cringe whenever that happens, especially if it’s this Sunday.
So why don’t the Redskins do the proper and prudent thing and keep Griffin out of this week’s game? Is a midseason contest between the 2-3 Redskins and the 4-1 Vikings that important that they must risk the health of a young man they hope will be their leader for the next 10-12 years?
* The Deseret News reported on two junior varsity football players who suffered concussions in the same game recently in Salt Lake City.
* Also near Salt Lake City, the Associated Press reported on a youth football coach who was arrested after he struck an opposing 13-year-old player, giving the boy a concussion.
Police arrested Nathan Harris for investigation of felony child abuse after watching grainy video and talking to witnesses about Saturday’s incident in Payson, about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor