Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 2/10/13

During the 2012 season, there were times where Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano was careful to not say the word “concussion” when addressing players who appeared on injury reports with a head injury. But the Buccaneers are not the only ones who take that approach.  In fact, teams categorize possible concussions as “illness”, “head injury”, or “neck injury.” Such reporting of possible concussions have brought the NFL a lot of scrutiny on how they handle potential concussions. It doesn’t stop there though. Teams have been criticized and fined for not handling a concussion properly. In 2011, the Cleveland Browns cleared quarterback Colt McCoy to re-enter a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after experiencing concussion-like symptoms from a hit he took. This past season, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III left a game after taking a hit along the sidelines. The Redskins described him as being “shaken up” during the game but after, head coach Mike Shanahan described Griffin as having a mild concussion. Washington was later fined $20,000 for incorrectly reporting the injury. So now that you have somewhat of an understanding on how the reporting (or lack thereof) for concussions from teams work, take the following information however you’d like. From 2010-2012, the Buccaneers averaged 3.33 concussions per year (0 in 2010, 5 in 2011 & 2012). That number ranks 5th best in the NFL. (The chart with each team’s reported concussions can be seen below.) The information was gathered by Sports Brain, LLC containing statistical data from The Concussion Blog and PBS Frontline’s “concussion watch” which was was partnered with ESPN’s Outside the Lines. The Concussion Blog has been committed to compiling concussion figures since 2010 while Frontline was just this past season. Each has a difference in numbers for 2012 for the majority of the teams around the league. The reason behind that is the theory of labeling a player’s injury and his symptoms as an actual concussion. For example, if a player gets to the sideline after a hit complaining about nausea, vision problems, or slight loss of memory, the player should be diagnosed with a concussion. But as referenced previously, if not reported by the team or the player properly, a concussion diagnosis will be missed. The league has yet to respond to emails and calls made to them regarding the data. The Frontline report lists defensive tackle Roy Miller, wide receiver Tiquan Underwood, cornerback Eric Wright, and tight end Luke Stocker as Bucs players who suffered a concussion. During preseason, Schiano stated he “stays away from that ‘C’ word” unless a doctor confirms that’s what it is when he was asked about Stocker. Same for Wright and Miller as coach never wanted to name his players in the same sentence together with the dreaded “C-word.” That’s where the process for proper testing of a concussion needs to be re-evaluated. And not because of the way Schiano has handled it, but the league wide process to test for a concussion is not enough. Team doctors use a questionnaire to determine if a player has suffered a concussion called the “NFL Sideline Concussion Assessment Tool.” It contains questions pertaining to the player’s behavior, physical appearance, and how well they do with questions. The document also instructs doctors to use it along with their “clinical judgement” and adds that a player should be a “no go” if he shows any sign of a concussion. Problem with that is not all concussion symptoms show up immediately and in some cases, do not show up at all. Conducting tests days after the injury was suffered can also prove to be useless as several medical experts have said signs may no longer show as soon as hours after the first symptom was reported. How accurate the charts below are remains to be seen. The NFL keeps the concussion issue tight-lipped and head coach Greg Schiano demonstrates that to perfection. Regardless of their accuracy, huge strides can be made towards treatment if conditions get reported properly from players, doctors, and everyone else involved. Click the following charts to enlarge. 2010-2012 Data               Concussions per position             Comparison between Concussions Blog and PBS/ESPN Concussion Watch The post Buccaneers have had one of the lowest numbers of concussions appeared first on The Bay Cave.

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