go to MSN.com
Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14

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

FA Cup Final: Arsenal earns record 12th title in 4-0 win over Aston Villa

James Harden wants some help in the backcourt

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still: Daughter has complications with transplant

Rivers denies report of problems with CP3 and Jordan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Orlando Magic hope Skiles can right sinking ship

Falcons waive Shembo over animal cruelty charges

Report: Tom Brady’s suspension appeal hearing set for June 23

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Scout: A-Rod 'looks like he doesn't give a (expletive)'

Belichick mum on Deflategate in first remarks since discipline

Four former first-round picks playing for their NFL careers

NBA Finals: Cavs-Warriors lacks easy comparison and that's great

10 NFL storylines that headlined the past week

Blackhawks-Ducks Game 7 preview: Key players, prediction

Women’s World Cup power rankings: Which teams have the best shot at hoisting the trophy?

NBA Finals: A series 39 years in the making

WATCH: San Diego State player steals home to seal win

St. Thomas pitcher Ben Ancheff takes internet by storm

WATCH: Josh Hamilton hits first two homers of the season

Did Andrew Bogut take a shot at Mark Jackson?

$70 million Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the NBA title, the parade will be for Oakland

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

FA Cup Final: Arsenal earns record 12th title in 4-0 win over Aston Villa

Arsenal defended its FA Cup title with a convincing 4-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday at Wembley Stadium. The victory gives the Gunners a record 12 FA Cup championships, one more than Premier League rival Manchester United. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also has tied a record with six FA Cup wins. Arsenal had been dominating possession in the first half when Theo Walcott, who...
Via NESN.com
26 minutes ago

James Harden wants some help in the backcourt

I wonder how Patrick Beverley feels about this. Coming off the worst performance of his Houston Rockets career in the team’s Game 5 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, James Harden indicated that he wants the team to upgrade in the backcourt this offseason.   Interestingly, Beverley is set to become a free agent this summer. It’s not known whether Harden’s comments...
Via Sportsnaut
9 hours ago

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

The Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final on Friday night by becoming the first team ever to win a Game 7 against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Tampa Bay’s 2-0 victory ends a streak of seven straight Game 7 wins for the Rangers on home ice and prevents New York from returning to the Cup Final, where it lost to the Los Angeles Kings in five...
Via NESN.com
15 hours ago

Devon Still: Daughter has complications with transplant

Devon Still reached out on social media Friday night to ask for people to pray for his daughter Leah, who hit a complication from a stem cell transplant. Leah was diagnosed with cancer last year but has undergone treatments for it. The news looked positive in March when Still tweeted that a scan showed his...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
17 hours ago

Rivers denies report of problems with CP3 and Jordan

Doc Rivers acknowledges that Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan have problems at times like any other teammates, but he denies that the two had a falling out. The Clippers head coach did an interview with the Beast 980 in Los Angeles Thursday and denied a report saying that his point guard and center do not...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
18 hours ago

Orlando Magic hope Skiles can right sinking ship

The Orlando Magic have again hired one of the franchise’s former point guards to lead the team, but this time, Orlando went with one with previous head coaching experience. On Friday, Scott Skiles was introduced as the team’s 12th head coach. An original member of the Orlando Magic, Skiles averaged nearly 13 points and over 7 assists during the franchise’s first five seasons...
Via Crossover Chronicles
18 hours ago

Falcons waive Shembo over animal cruelty charges

The Atlanta Falcons may not have done the right thing when they selected linebacker Prince Shembo in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. But they sure did act in a timely manner by waiving the second-year linebacker mere hours after he was charged with felony animal cruelty in Georgia. In waiving Shembo, the Falcons had this to say: “We are aware of the charges that have...
Via Sportsnaut
20 hours ago

Report: Tom Brady’s suspension appeal hearing set for June 23

The date has reportedly been set. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, citing a league source, Tom Brady’s appeal for his four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate will take place Tuesday, June 23. There’s a chance it could be continued June 25, Schefter added. Tom Brady’s appeal hearing will be held June 23, and possibly continued June 25, a league source told ESPN...
Via NESN.com
21 hours ago

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Adrian Peterson went on a Twitter rant yesterday.  Because when you plead out of a felony child abuse charge that makes you miss a season and then try to force your team to trade you, meeting your wants and needs is right at the top of everyone's list.  Although his outburst on social media certainly isn't going to change anything for himself, it's worth noting that some of AP...
Via Football By Football
1 day ago

Scout: A-Rod 'looks like he doesn't give a (expletive)'

All Alex Rodriguez had to do in order to be successful again was to stop caring. That might sound like a bad thing, but one advanced scout thinks the New York Yankees slugger has been able to revitalize his offensive game in large part because he stopped caring about all of the other things that come with being A-Rod. “He has the easiest swing I’ve ever seen from him,” an advance...
Via NESN.com
1 day 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.