Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks is a well-spoken, outspoken player. The fact that he is one of the game’s best at his position makes those words (however many and however well stated) an always relevant topic of conversation whenever he says them. As Bryan Rose pointed out earlier in the day, Sherman has done it again, this time on the always hot-button issue of concussions via SI.
Let me preface by stating first that I am a Seahawks fan and love Richard Sherman. He is one of my favorite players and generally I am in agreement to his comments. I think he’s one of the smartest players in football, but this one I have to disagree with.
If you read the piece, you understand that Sherman is all about personal health, but he also thinks it’s his right to play if he chooses to, even during a concussion. That’s fine that he has that opinion (many NFL players do) and if it was all about him (or them), then more power to ‘em. But the problem with concussions is that it’s also about the team and this view doesn’t always reflect the best interests of the team.
I not referring to just the Seahawks either, but to the team of the player in that circumstance at the time of injury. In the piece from Sherman, he mentions that he can tell when a teammate has a concussion on a sideline due to the symptoms, but he doesn’t tell the doctors because if they want to play that’s their right.
Ok, fair point. At least until you think about what the next hit could do to them. Instead of a guy sitting out for the rest of the game and maybe next week, what if he gets lit up again and now he’s down for a month? Shouldn’t he at least be put in the best position for his team to count on him sooner than later? If he passes the test, then he’s back anyway.
Or how bout in that game specifically? Does a player who obviously can’t remember what he’s asked recently or where he is help your team? Playing with blurred vision is one thing, but memory issues could cost your team a big play that could have and should have been avoided.
Concussions are a difficult issue to manage, especially the “minor” ones like that which Sherman had during that first game that he talks about. This is part of why they’re such an issue. I might argue that “concussion-like symptoms” don’t always mean “concussion” and that’s maybe why Sherman was able to continue, he just got dinged.
Overall it’s about personal health, but even if you’re stupid enough not to care about your own health, the idea of playing with a concussion to be a “tough-guy” is stupid in terms of “team” wellness, even if you do get up and make some plays.