"Decimated." That word actually has a specific meaning, focused on an
First, a heads-up: You're about to read about concussions. Each and every week, you'll likely read about a star player suffering this injury. Through the work of people like the
Now, on to the injuries:
The story on the Eagles and concussions has been written largely and loudly this week, as it should be. The irony is that eagles trainer
With four full-time athletic trainers, at least three doctors, and likely some sports medicine interns on the sidelines Sunday, the team still didn't have enough eyes to monitor the field while conducting an examination of an injured player. While I don't know the specifics of how the Eagles handle things on game day, one NFL athletic trainer shared how his team handles this: "First, I'm not criticizing Rick. This could happen to anyone. We try to have one [trainer] watching our guys at all times, two if possible. If there's two, one's watching the backfield, offense or defense, while the other is watching the line. The problem is when there is something that comes up, one of those guys now has to help with something or re-tape an ankle and, sometimes, not everything is getting watched. You can't count on the coaches, since they're as bad or worse than the players about reporting. It's just the game." I asked him whether there should be some form of communication between trainers, like the coaches, and their headsets. He thought that would be a good idea, but tough to get a team to agree to unless there was a league-wide mandate. He also liked the idea of having another trainer in the booth, watching for injuries, but "that's another salary."
There are a couple other issues within this story. The NFLPA initially said the Eagles had followed procedure on both concussions. I'm a bit dubious of how the union handled this. While concussions or any injury shouldn't be part of any labor ploy, I'd have liked to have seen someone, anyone, taking the side of the player on this, questioning the dangers. Second, I'm very concerned about how Kolb's injury was initially reported. The press was told Kolb had a "jaw injury." Well, yes, he did. He got hit on the jaw, resulting in a concussion. A few years ago, rugby's governing body came up with guidelines for concussions, putting a player out for 30 days after a concussion was suffered. The immediate consequence was concussions were only reported in the most serious cases, with the minor ones being hidden as things like "neck injury," "upper body bruise," and, yes, "jaw injury." We're going to have to keep a close eye to make sure the NFL doesn't start using weasel words like this.
As for Kolb and Bradley's availability, Kolb is out after failing his concussion screening on Monday. The policy requires five symptom-free days before a return and the Eagles responded quickly by saying he'd be unavailable. There's been no word on Bradley, though that will be clarified when the OIR is released.
Watching any player get his knee blown out is tough.
After Week 1,
Again? That's what
Stafford is likely to be out around six weeks, with a two-to-eight-week range on the injury. That leaves
As bad as concussions like Kolb and Bradley's are, repeat concussions might be worse. Ignoring for now the long-term implications of concussive and sub-concussive impacts on players (which we're
Things looked mostly positive for
I was surprised