go to MSN.com
Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/31/13

The concussion issue in the NFL has become a fraught battle, with everyone knowing that head injuries have some connection to later health concerns but no one sure of the best way to move forward or change the league. Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison is among those looking back on his career in a different light as research continues to uncover new information about concussions. Harrison spoke with Bob Costas about his concussion history, and from what the former All Pro said, it sounds like the NFL is at least getting one thing right by spreading awareness now. Harrison said he estimates that he had at least 20 concussions in his NFL career, but he didn’t hear anything about the danger — or even that concussions existed — for several seasons. He wasn’t aware of the implications of such head injuries until “just recently.” “My first year, in 1994, one of the first weeks of training camp, I hit Natrone Means,” he said. “He’s a 245-pound running back. I was knocked out. And not once in my first five or six years in the league did I even hear the word ‘concussion.’ And even on the field playing, I would get up, hit someone, the entire stadium was spinning around, and I would walk to the sideline, they would hold me out for one play, give me two Advil, and tell me to get back into the game. “The NFL, if they’re guilty of anything, it’s the lack of awareness that they brought and the lack of education. They never told us or explained to us or even let us know what a concussion was.” Harrison said he regularly experiences concussion symptoms, and as he looks at other players who are later in life and have been affected by head injuries, he’s worried about his future. “I’m scared,” he said. “I’m 40 years old, and I’m scared. … I have four kids. I have a beautiful wife, and I’m scared to death what may happen to me 10, 15 years from now.” Harrison also lost a former teammate, Junior Seau, to suicide this year. Many people have attributed Seau’s death to lingering effects of injuries, and to him fighting imbalances and depression after he left the game. Several solutions have been suggested to cut down on head injuries in football, but most come with controversy. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has implemented new rules that he says will significantly reduce the amount of hits that players take to the head, and the NFL has been tough about not letting players return to the field after concussions in recent years. Goodell has also been criticized, though, for calling for more games on the regular-season schedule and not working with the players’ union on its suggestions for player health. Hard hits, especially to the head, are still an everyday part of the game, and making enough changes to eliminate serious head injuries could compromise the essence of the game. While advanced tests for brain damage and research into new helmets and safety measures are gaining traction, some fear that football will have to change considerably to keep players safe. The one stride that has been made, though, is that everyone is talking about concussions now. As Harrison’s words attest, that’s a huge step from just a few years ago. See what he had to say in the video below. document.getElementById('wpcom-iframe-form-841d1266d0e9b31bf78de4fff057cf2c').submit();

More from NESN.com:
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
10 Comments:
  • When will everyone on earth cease their compulsive bitching! The entire globe just sits around and looks for reasons to be pissed off. Arabs are pissed off becuase they were not represented and if they had been, they would have been pissed off because coke was targeting their children and setting them up for furture obesity issues. Seriously there should be prozac in the earths water supply....
  • Doesn't take a genius to know that concussions damage your brain. That is unless you are so stupid that you don't know what the heck a concussion is. If you play a sport as physical as football you must be a moron if you don't think you are going to have health problems afterword.

    You are the ones that sacrificed your bodies for the almighty buck. Stop the whining. I don't feel sorry for you. It was your decision. Now you have to live with it or maybe even die for it. No one forced your dumb butt to do it.

    Time to start taking responsibilities for your own actions and quit blaming some one else. Then again that's what's wrong with this country. Just look at the fool we elected President.
  • You're right. Just look at the President before him that stole 2 elections.
  • I've got the answer...very simple....lets sue the NFL for a billion dollars....raise the tickets price to 1k a game and then no one goes?? No game and you can go to work for a living like the rest of us
  • Lets see I am a policeman and no one forced me to be one so f I get hurt or killed, the nfl would not give a rats ass about me. so why should give a darn about a rich football player that was not forced to play so shut up
  • And when his mind goes, the TV viewer will be spared any further snarky comments from this jock/broadcaster(?).
  • Your an idiot Harrison, I always liked you but this right here changed my mind.You didnt care about your body when you were juicing, why now?
  • I agree with many of the comments here. They knew football was a dangerous sport and that they were risking their health by playing. Whether for the love of the game, the money, the fame, the women, or whatever they chose to play. You made your millions, you have your fame and maybe even immortalized with a bust in Canton and you traded your long-term health for it so quit your bitching. Want a competitive sport without the risk of injury then maybe you should have joined the chess club.
  • Although I have empathy for Rodney's fear, I cannot feel sorry for him. I played high school ball and was knocked out during a game and came back and played in it. That was in 1978. I knew or was informed about concussions back then. I've heard about it since then. "Getting your bell rung" was the term used for it back then.

    The real problem is, the football player themselves. They workout year round. They are bigger, stronger, and faster. The impact as well as the way NFL players "hit", causes the problem because, be honest, hardly anyone tackles in the NFL. They are going for the highlight film hit, and if possible, intimidate the player they are trying to "tackle".

    He used football as a tool to get his education while playing college ball, and had the honor to play pro football. Pro football, is a business. In fact, some college programs are businesses ( Alabama, LSU, Michigan, USC, Florida etc...). He says the NFL didn't warn or inform him, and I believe that's not true. The thing with the NFL is, if you can't play, there is someone to replace you, so either you stay on the field till you can't make the play, or you're carried off. You're a modern gladiator, so that's what it is. Free will, nobody twisted your arm to play. Let's fix the problem. Take off the face masks. That will force players to use their shoulder pads instead of lowering their heads....
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Scottie Pippen: I was LeBron James before LeBron James

Report: Marc Gasol only visiting with Memphis Grizzlies

Draymond Green to meet with Warriors at onset of free agency

Panthers rookie WR: We're going to be the dynamic duo

Examining Bo Ryan's legacy at Wisconsin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

World Cup semifinals preview: US-Japan, Germany-England

Tim Duncan to help Spurs pitch LaMarcus Aldridge

Report: Knicks gave up on signing Marc Gasol 'long ago'

Kings terminate Mike Richards' contract due to 'breach'

Report: Nets believe they can trade Deron Williams

Mickelson likely committed no crime even if he gambled

Joe Buck explains why he quit Twitter

Should the White Sox and Indians become sellers?

Fan bases most deserving of a Super Bowl 50 win

2015 NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Report: Redskins urged by major group to change team name

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend Vito Cammisano broke up?

Top seven storylines entering free agency around the NBA

Former FSU mascot killed in argument over gumbo recipe

Royals slipping in ASG voting, lose two more starters

Fred Smoot: I played with gay players, 'everyone knew'

Bobby Portis brings donuts for media at press conference

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
RUMORS & GOSSIP

Scottie Pippen: I was LeBron James before LeBron James

In a never-ending quest to compare players to past greats, the name basketball fans want LeBron James to live up to is Michael Jordan. However, that comparison is better suited when discussing if LeBron can surpass MJ as the greatest of all time. Stylistically speaking, LeBron best matches one of Jordan’s longtime teammates, and Scottie Pippen pointed out that opinion over the...
Via Sportsnaut
1 hour ago

Report: Marc Gasol only visiting with Memphis Grizzlies

Marc Gasol is not expected to leave the Memphis Grizzlies during free agency, but it appears he personally won’t even entertain offers from other NBA teams. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Gasol will host “a contingent of Grizzlies officials” on Wednesday, July 1, when free agency officially begins and will not schedule a visit with any other franchise. Per Stein: Gasol’s...
Via Sportsnaut
2 hours ago

Draymond Green to meet with Warriors at onset of free agency

Most people close to the situation in Oakland have been strongly hinting that the Golden State Warriors will not let up-and-coming forward Draymond Green leave in free agency this week. Indications from both sides have also pointed to a long-term contract being worked out. Green has repeatedly indicated he’s looking to return to the defending champs. Meanwhile, the Warriors have...
Via Sportsnaut
4 hours ago

Panthers rookie WR: We're going to be the dynamic duo

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will be armed with some mammoth height this season with the addition of rookie wide receiver Devin Funchess. Both Funchess and second-year wide receiver receiver Kelvin Benjamin stand at a beastly 6-foot-5. With his sights set high, the rookie out of Michigan has some pretty bold predictions for the team’s wide receiver group in 2015: ...
Via Sportsnaut
8 hours ago

Examining Bo Ryan's legacy at Wisconsin

Monday afternoon, shockwaves were sent throughout the state of Wisconsin and the entire college basketball world when Bo Ryan announced that his tenure in Madison will come to an end after next season. Of course, this means that the 2015-’16 campaign will mark the end of an incredible era at Wisconsin, during which Ryan has guided the Badgers to levels of success that at one...
Via Rumors and Rants
10 hours ago

World Cup semifinals preview: US-Japan, Germany-England

With the World Cup semifinal matches set to begin this Tuesday, four teams are currently vying to hoist the trophy on July 5.  Of the remaining teams, three of those squads are ranked in the top five in the world. France was eliminated after being deadlocked for 120 minutes before losing to top-ranked Germany in penalty kicks. With host country Canada eliminated in the quarterfinals...
Via The Sports Daily
15 hours ago

Tim Duncan to help Spurs pitch LaMarcus Aldridge

The San Antonio Spurs are prepared to put a full-court recruiting press on soon-to-be free agent LaMarcus Aldridge when the market opens up on Wednesday. According to Yahoo Sports NBA insider Marc Spears, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are expected to join Gregg Popovich in a meeting with the Portland Blazers star in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Spurs coach Gregg Popovic, forward...
Via Sportsnaut
12 hours ago

Report: Knicks gave up on signing Marc Gasol 'long ago'

The list of potential suitors for soon-to-be free agent center Mark Gasol is dwindling by the day, and that probably has to do with the common belief that he will re-sign with the Memphis Grizzlies. The New York Knicks, who were once interested in Gasol, have apparently moved on. According to Fred Kerber of the...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
16 hours ago

Kings terminate Mike Richards' contract due to 'breach'

The Los Angeles Kings released a bombshell of a statement today, announcing that they’ve terminated the contract of forward Mike Richards. Here’s the press release from the club. “The Los Angeles Kings today have exercised the team’s right to terminate the contract of Mike Richards for a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player’s Contract. We are...
Via Puck Drunk Love
17 hours ago

Report: Nets believe they can trade Deron Williams

It just remains to be seen whether that market includes much more than a pair of old jockstraps and some other dirty laundry. Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York reported on Monday that the Brooklyn Nets believe there is a trade market for point guard Deron Williams, who has been an underwhelming presence for the team since being acquired from the Utah Jazz in February of 2011. ...
Via Sportsnaut
18 hours ago
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.