Athletes with concussions risk further injury returning to play too soon

by: STEVEN GEHEGAN/Staff Writer

In recent years, no injury has gotten the attention of the public than concussions in football.

Former National Football League players have been suffering from depression and memory loss, and some even have been driven to end their lives. With all of the problems the NFL and the National Collegiate Athletic Association have had, they started adding new rules to protect players. The NCAA has a rule that if a player leads with his head and hits another player’s head, he will be ejected from the game. The NFL also has put in place many rules along those lines. Still, players are suffering from concussions, and the problem seems to be going from the NFL all the way down to youth football. Their needs to be a change in the way concussions are treated. I think that I have the answer to this problem.

Speaking as someone who has had a concussion from playing football, which was diagnosed as a minor concussion, there is a way to deal with these head injuries and walk away from football with no mental problems. When I was dealing with my concussion, I was given a standard concussion test to see if I had one, which I did. After that, I had to see a doctor, and he told me that I only had a minor concussion. As long as I took some time off of playing football, I would be fine.

After one week, I went back to see if I could pass the concussion test to get back to football. I failed the test the first week, and then I failed the test the second week and the third week. It took me a month to get back from a minor concussion, and yet you see players in the NFL, NCAA and some high school players get a concussion then play the next week or even come back into the game. There lies the problem with concussions. The player continues to play with a head injury, even though he has passed some kind of concussion test.

If the NFL really wants to protect their players, then they will need to put in new rules to protect their players. First, if the players are passing the concussion test after a few days, then the test needs to have a higher standard of what is healthy for the player’s safety. Second, if a player gets a head injury, than the player needs to be away from football for a minimum of two weeks. The final rule is if a player is knocked out on the field, that player should not play football for a month.

There is no way to prevent head injuries in a sport like football. But if the players are allowed time to heal properly, then there would be fewer problems after the player stops playing football. If all the major football organizations apply these rules, then football will be safer long term for all who play the game.

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