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

Turner has great quote in defense of Bridgewater

Gary Bettman's quote about expansion makes no sense

Beltre sends Richards invoice for three broken bats

Herschel Walker: Vikings should trade Adrian Peterson

Report: Raiders fielding calls about fourth overall pick

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: UAB football player brings helmet to graduation

Andrew Luck to students: 'I'm only 25, I don't have advice'

Mark Sanchez: Tebow is another arm while Bradford recovers

Report: Former LSU CB Jalen Collins failed multiple drug tests

Six players suspended for White Sox-Royals brawl

Stephen A. Smith blasts Brady for missing White House visit

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

WATCH: Bucks mascot devours fan

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

Greg Hardy abandons his Bentley during flash flood

WATCH: LeBron James hits full-court shot after practice

Peyton Manning announces $3 million gift to Tennessee

WATCH: Leah Still scores TD in Temple spring game

WATCH: Todd Gurley shares video of himself sprinting

Five most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

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

Turner has great quote in defense of Bridgewater

Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater choked during a particular portion of his pro day workout last year. This was something that may have caused him to slip to the 32nd overall pick in last year’s draft. The exact drill where Bridgewater struggled was when he was to throw a pass over raised brooms which were supposed to simulate an oncoming pass rush. Bridgewater’s...
Via Sportsnaut
6 hours ago

Gary Bettman's quote about expansion makes no sense

Expansion continues to be a hot topic in the NHL and Gary Bettman was recently asked about the possibility of a new team joining the Eastern Conference. Based on the current structure of the league (14 teams in the West and 16 in the East), the obvious solution is to place two teams in the West to balance things out. Would Bettman consider adding a team in the East if the right...
Via Puck Drunk Love
10 hours ago

Beltre sends Richards invoice for three broken bats

Garrett Richards displayed his Cy Young contender stuff during a win Friday against the Texas Rangers in just his second start of the season. The 26-year-old went seven strong innings allowing just three hits, three walks, and two runs in the Angels’ 3-2 win. Among his highlights included holding Rangers cleanup hitter Adrian Beltre to...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
5 hours ago

Herschel Walker: Vikings should trade Adrian Peterson

Former Minnesota Vikings running back Herschel Walker is no stranger to blockbuster NFL trades. The two-time Pro Bowler was involved in the biggest trade in modern NFL history when he was sent from the Dallas Cowboys to Minnesota for a bevy of players and picks that helped set up the Cowboys dynasty of the 1990’s. Over 25 years removed from that trade, Walker is speaking up...
Via Sportsnaut
8 hours ago

Report: Raiders fielding calls about fourth overall pick

Depending on how the top-three picks in the upcoming 2015 NFL draft play out, the Oakland Raiders could very well be trade-down candidates. It’s likely that their primary target at this point is USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who most experts conclude is the best all-around defensive player in the draft. However, there’s a decent possibility that the Tennessee Titans...
Via Sportsnaut
8 hours ago

WATCH: UAB football player brings helmet to graduation

Earlier, we shared tweets from UAB linebacker Derek Slaughter, who planned to wear his football helmet during the school’s commencement ceremony to protest the dissolution of the program. Now, we have video of Slaughter crossing the stage, and it doesn’t disappoint for those who agree with his stance. Slaughter snubs president Ray Watts on the handshake as he crosses the stage...
Via College Spun
13 hours ago

Andrew Luck to students: 'I'm only 25, I don't have advice'

Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck was invited to participate in a lecture series at DePaul University. When asked if he had any advice to give the assembled crowd of students, Luck, with his dry sense of humor, stated this (via the Indy Star). As far as advice? I’m only 25. I don’t have any advice. Luck was also asked other questions during his appearance...
Via Sportsnaut
11 hours ago

Mark Sanchez: Tebow is another arm while Bradford recovers

Now that they have signed Tim Tebow to a one-year contract, the Philadelphia Eagles have a very crowded depth chart at the quarterback position. Assuming Tebow isn’t going to play another position, there is no way he, Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley all make the 53-man roster. Did Sanchez already hint that Tebow...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
12 hours ago

Report: Former LSU CB Jalen Collins failed multiple drug tests

Less than a week before the draft isn’t exactly the best timing for information like this to come out. According to NFL Media insider Albert Breer, former LSU cornerback Jalen Collins failed multiple drug tests during his college days. There is no information regarding what drug Collins tested positive for, but this latest piece of information will likely drop Collins, who was...
Via Sportsnaut
13 hours ago

Six players suspended for White Sox-Royals brawl

The punishments have been doled out for the brawl between the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals, and a total of seven players have been disciplined, with six of those players earning suspensions. Here’s the full damage report. #WhiteSox: Chris Sale & Jeff Samardzija have received 5-game suspensions (& undisclosed fines) & Tyler Flowers received an undisclosed...
Via The Outside Corner
14 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.