Sunday, September 18, 2011

Philadelphia Eagles, NBC Announcers All Do Admirable Job Trying To Convince You Michael Vick DOESN'T Have A Concussion

Michael took a hard shot on Sunday Night Football and was taken out of the game by the Philadelphia Eagles.  The hardest shot was to the NFL's new policy on concussions.

Two minutes after he got off the field, he was taken to the locker room (walked on his own) looking fairly normal (except for the blood he was spitting up supposedly from a bitten tongue).  Five minutes after that, NBC announcers reported that the Eagles were evaluating a neck injury for Vick.

***Andy Reid acknowledging in post-game press conference that Vick has concussion. Eagles are not nearly the problem that the announcers covering the game are. Please read the rest of my post for why I'm still mad.

This story stinks in so many ways.

  • I will post it when I find a good video, but Vick's head bounced off the shoulder of one of his offensive lineman in such a violent way in the midst of a hit by a Falcons player
  • Vick goes down for a short period, but then gets up and walks off the field with assistance from a trainer
  • If Vick's neck was hurt and he said so when he was down, do you think they'd let him get up on his own and walk off?
  • Yes, you could say that he has whiplash.  A whiplash is a sudden, violent change in direction of the head from one direction to another.  Don't forget the brain is located inside that head and was also violently shifted from one side of the skull to the other.  There is such a thing as a whiplash concussion.
  • If Vick truly does have a neck injury, why not an immediate xray? Why not an immediate MRI? If it's a serious neck injury, shouldn't have walked off field. If not serious, should have been able to come back onto field in fourth at least to watch/coach.
  • NFL players are being taken inside to a "quiet" room which is designed to begin treatment of concussions.  Further exposure to light/sound for a concussed player has been shown to aggravate and prolong the concussion.  Why do you really think Vick left the field and never came back??
  • If Vick is diagnosed with a concussion, not only is he out for the game, but he will be required to pass evaluations from team doctors AND independent doctor before being allowed back to play.  
  • I contend teams are coaching their players on how to pass concussion tests, or even putting pressure on their own doctors to let players slide through if they come close to passing
There are many dangers in letting a concussed player back onto the playing field before he should be.  The NFL needs to be more closely watching teams to make sure that they are evaluating and identifying concussions when they happen.  You can have a concussion and be fine in less than a week, or perhaps in a few months.  Every concussion is different.  Vick may very well be identified with a concussion tomorrow, but that's not the only point.

For the announcers to yet again fail to mention the possibility of a concussion with Vick is alarming.  The NFL is doing a terrible job of teaching announcers what to look for, and how to talk about concussions.  

It's a disservice to the fans.  On one hand, the league is cracking down on dangerous hits to the head because they want to try and save these guys from brain injury down the road, but they're not identifying and educating the fan when the opportunities are there.

If you disagree, I would recommend you check out The Concussion Blog.  

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