With all the importance places on head injuries and concussions in sports over the past few years, all the safety measures in the world don’t help if players aren’t honest about their suffering.
Greg McElroy was sacked 11 times in the Jets’ loss to the Chargers on Sunday, and at some point during the game suffered a concussion — it’s not exactly clear when. McElroy reportedly began experiencing serious headaches on Thursday morning, according to ESPN, and that’s the point at which he decided to tell the Jets’ training staff about his symptoms.
However, several Jets players say that McElroy had been wrestling with the decision for days, confiding in some of them about his troubles. One player the former third-string quarterback talked to was wide receiver Clyde Gates, who himself suffered a concussion earlier in the season.
“He came to my room and we talked about it,” Gates told ESPN. “He was hurting real bad. I was like, ‘Bro, I know, I’ve been down that road already. I’m just saying you can’t try to tough it out cause you going to end up hurting yourself. You’ve got to let everybody know how you really feel.’”
Left guard Matt Slauson can related to McElroy’s predicament, as he suffered a concussion seasons ago that he did not immediately report to trainers. He was another player McElroy talked to.
“He definitely has that (warrior) mentality, but it got to the point where it was scaring him,” said Slauson.
Mark Sanchez is slated to start in McElroy’s place Sunday against the Bills.