Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman wrote a guest column for TheMMQB.com. In the column he talks a lot about concussions and the perception of the concussions and describes in detail the only concussion he has suffered in his NFL career. It came in his first career start, against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week Eight of the 2011 season.
He chose to keep it to himself and stay on the field and keep playing. A move that he says, paid off.
“I couldn’t see,” Sherman writes about the effects of the concussion. “The concussion blurred my vision and I played the next two quarters half-blind, but there was no way I was coming off the field with so much at stake. It paid off: Just as my head was clearing, Andy Dalton lobbed one up to rookie A.J. Green and I came down with my first career interception.”
Sherman believes at this point that NFL players have a enough information on concussions to make their decisions. If an NFL player chooses to play with a concussion he can, and he certainly wouldn’t alert medical staff that another player could be suffering from a concussion.
“All of us NFL players, from wide receivers to defensive backs, chose this profession,” Sherman writes. “Concussions are going to happen to cornerbacks who go low and lead with their shoulders, wide receivers who duck into contact, safeties who tackle high and linemen who run into somebody on every single play. Sometimes players get knocked out and their concussions make news, but more often it’s a scenario like mine, where the player walks away from a hit and plays woozy or blind. Sometimes I can tell when a guy is concussed during a game—he can’t remember things or he keeps asking the same questions over and over—but I’m not going to take his health into my hands and tell anybody, because playing with injuries is a risk that guys are willing to take. The players before us took that risk too, but they still sued the league because they felt like they were lied to about the long-term risks. Today, we’re fully educating guys on the risks and we’re still playing. We have not hidden from the facts.”
Would Sherman do it again? He said next time he plans to “get back up and pretend like nothing happened.”