What’s news in health and safety around football today:
* After talking this week about how he suffered a concussion earlier this season and has nerve damage in his fingers, Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson released a statement in conjunction with the Lions that denied both, according to the Sports Xchange.
“I would like to clarify some of my comments from yesterday,” Johnson said in a statement released through the team’s media relations department. “I am aware that I did not suffer a concussion in our game against the Vikings earlier this year. I misused the terms nerve damage and concussion. I have not suffered any nerve damage nor have I received any treatment for nerve damage. I did suffer a stinger and have also experienced the kind of wear and tear that most NFL players are dealing with at this point in the season.”
First, Johnson is an intelligent man, who has a solid understanding of the weight of his statements on a team and on a national scale. Why would he choose to open himself to needless concussion scrutiny without being sure of his initial belief that he was concussed? Second, Johnson’s two concussion claims came a month apart. Given that the Lions’ organization is meticulous about the injury information it releases, why didn’t someone tell Johnson not to use the word ?concussion? when referring to his injuries a second time? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, with the NFL facing increased pressure to improve player safety and limit concussions, did the league ask the Lions to offer a reason why a player who claimed he was concussed — twice — was allowed to return to action following his injuries?
* Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright and guard James Carpenter will miss Sunday’s game after still suffering from concussion symptoms, according to Associated Press.
* FierceHealthIT reported how telemedicine is getting approval for use in studies on concussion victims.
* The Oakland (Mich.) Press reported on how the new state concussion law is already helping concussion awareness in the area.
* KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh reported that concussion fears have decreased participation in that area’s youth football leagues.
* WOWK-TV in Charleston, W.Va., looked at the concussion issue in its community.
* WHSV-TV in Harrisonburg, Va., reported on what is being done in its area to prevent concussions.
* And an Australian Rules Football team was fined $20,000 for hindering the investigation into the concussion of one of its star players.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor