Former philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook was part of a panel including former Philadelphia Flyers captain Keith Primeau, five-time MLS All-Star Taylor Twellman, former NFL linebacker Jim Nelson, former Green Bay Packers VP Andrew Brandt to discuss the "Concussion Conundrum" Friday at Villanova University, reports the Press of the Atlantic City.
Westbrook, only 33, says he can't remember names, recall facts or retain new material moments after he's told them. Not good news. "Hopefully, they won't continue to progress," he said.
The panel aims to bring awareness to the dangers of concussion and their lingering effects. Per the Press of the Atlantic City:
' While his symptoms aren't as severe as other former NFL players, Westbrook now says he returned too soon from a concussion that knocked him out cold against Washington in 2009. He returned only three weeks later and was quickly hurt again.
"I thought I took enough time off to rest and recuperate. I thought I was healed completely," Westbrook said. "But I got hit, I got my bell rung. I was out for another few weeks with another concussion."
Like Primeau, Westbrook wants to change the culture in a sports world where wins come at any cost, even at the expense of brain injuries. Westbrook started the process in a familiar spot - Philadelphia. Eagles running back LeSean McCoy missed four games last season because of a severe concussion. He refused to sit out the final two games of the season for further rest because he called himself a "competitor."
McCoy told Westbrook how he wanted to play only a couple of weeks after he was hurt. Westbrook asked him, "Can you run? Can you practice? Can you think without having a headache." McCoy answered no to all.
"He said, 'But we're losing and I've got to get back out there,' " Westbrook said.'