Well, he had a concussion against Atlanta. That's that biggest concern that way. You don't want him to have, you know, but again I coached defenses and linebackers for a long time and concussions didn't linger. Now we have found that because of the media and things they seem to linger longer. There's a lot of attention paid to it. I don't know why they linger longer. I don't remember them lingering like they do now."
Winston, who played eight seasons in the league (2006-13), posted his critical remarks to his Twitter account on Wednesday.
Perpetuating the idea that it's the medias fault that concussions "longer" longer just shows how far we still have to go in educating every1— Eric Winston (@ericwinston) October 15, 2014
Burfict, the NFL's leading tackler last season, suffered a head injury in Sunday's tie with the Carolina Panthers and was declared questionable to return. He underwent a concussion test and was cleared to reenter the game. The 23-year-old also missed the previous two games, against the Titans and Patriots, due to concussions.
In a separate tweet, Winston indicated that he doesn't believe in the notion that concussions can be classified as mild, saying "You either have one or you don't." On Wednesday, the Panthers described wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin's concussion as "mild."
Benjamin, the team's leading receiver, is believed to have sustained the concussion on a hit from Burfict in the second quarter of Sunday's tie. The Panthers said Benjamin, who reportedly indicated he had a headache on Monday, will go through the league's concussion protocol.
In July, a federal judge granted preliminary approval to a $765 million settlement over concussions between the NFL and more than 4,500 retired players. Objections to the settlement have been filed on behalf of multiple players.
- Chris Johnson