Head injuries, specifically concussions, have quickly gone from being ignored to being in the spotlight. Because of both the short-term and long-term impact concussions have on the human brain, everyone involved with the game of football has grown a sensitivity to the issue.
Younger players in the NFL today might not necessarily notice it, but veteran players and especially current coaches or were players in the NFL have certainly witnessed the progression of this issue in the league. Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier is a great example of an individual who has seen the progression.
Frazier was a DB for the Chicago Bears from 1981-86 and was part of a fierce and tenacious defense. At that time the Bears had one of the best defenses in the NFL and in fact the 1985 team had what many today will argue was the best defense of all time. They probably inflicted many a concussion on opponents.
But now Frazier is a head coach in the NFL and he’s charged with the task of leading an organization, a task the requires him to manage players who are dealing with injuries – including concussions. Several Vikings players have dealt with concussions this season, including QB Brett Favre. He was knocked out of the Chicago Bears game a couple weeks ago and still hasn’t sufficiently recovered to be able to make it back onto the field. In addition, both LB Erin Henderson and S Madieu Williams are currently dealing with concussions.
While it’s certainly cumbersome and disadvantageous for Frazier to adhere to the concussion protocol the NFL currently employs, he does see the reasoning behind it and he expressed his support for that protocol while meeting with reporters on Thursday.
“There’s a good reason that we have the caution that we have with concussions,” Frazier said. “You take a look at some of the former players and you see the repercussions of some of the concussions that they had and you realize that the way that we approach concussions today is far better than the way it was approached when I played.
“There was a time that you’d be out a couple plays or a play and you’d be back soon, as soon as you could count to 10 you’d be back on the field. Today is much better for our players and for their futures.”
Tags: Erin Henderson, Leslie Frazier, Madieu Williams
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