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:
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

Report: Athletics trade Derek Norris to Padres

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo traded to Mavs for three players, picks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer says Tim Tebow still wants to play in the NFL

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Extremely rare set of Air Jordan 7s selling for $45,000

Five reasons why Alabama will win College Football Playoff

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

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.
RUMORS & GOSSIP

Report: Athletics trade Derek Norris to Padres

If you’re an Oakland Athletics fan, you’re probably wondering when the drain of talent from your roster will end. It’s not stopping today – the club has reportedly traded All-Star catcher Derek Norris to the San Diego Padres. Minor league pitcher Seth Streich will also head to San Diego in the deal, while Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez are going to Oakland. Source: the A...
Via The Outside Corner
8 hours ago

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

The Dodgers are not happy with San Diego Padres GM A.J. Preller over the way the Matt Kemp trade unfolded. The Dodgers and Padres agreed to a trade with Kemp as the centerpiece exactly one week ago. Despite the agreement, the trade was not officially completed until late Thursday because of supposed concerns regarding Kemp’s...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
7 hours ago

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

LONDON — Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is banned from Sunday’s match against Arsenal as punishment for posting racially offensive comments online.   The FA on Thursday imposed the one-match ban and a fine of 25,000 pounds ($39,000), while also ordering Balotelli to attend an education program for the “aggravated breach” of its discrimination rules. Balotelli uploaded...
Via NESN.com
12 hours ago

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman on Thursday stepped to the podium for the first time since the announcement that quarterback Jay Cutler had been benched for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. Trestman mentioned, as head coaches announcing such a monumental — if not necessary — decision are wont to do in these kind...Read More The post Marc Trestman: Benching Jay...
Via Sportress of Blogitude
14 hours ago

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

FOXBORO, Mass. — We’ll take Tom Brady’s word for it that Rob Gronkowski has grown up on the football field. The New England Patriots tight end proved that he’s still an overgrown teenager during his appearance on “Top Chef” Wednesday night, however. Gronk doesn’t seem very convinced by Brady’s comments either. “I grew up a lot,” Gronkowski said laughing. “I’m...
Via NESN.com
14 hours ago

Rajon Rondo traded to Mavs for three players, picks

Rajon Rondo is headed to Dallas. After a 24-hour span of heavy negotiations and rumors, the Boston Celtics have finally agreed to a trade involving their franchise point guard. ESPN SportsCenter says the Mavs are sending Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright, Jameer Nelson and two draft picks to Boston in return for Rondo and Dwight Powell....Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
11 hours ago

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

"I am writing sentences about this game because our word processing system doesn't have poop emoji" pic.twitter.com/YOozhG1lJI — Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) December 18, 2014   The typewriter could never master something as intricate and complex as the poop emoji.  That’s one way to describe what is statistically speaking the worst primetime game this century.  And Washington...
Via Awful Announcing
14 hours ago

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

The Washington Wizards are out to a fast start with an 18-6 record and 13-2 at home. With this record, you’d fans would be flocking to the Verizon Center to support their team. However, on Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers, the attendance was well short of a sellout and that has ESPN’s Michael Wilbon seeing red. Wilbon called out DC fans during an appearance on Tony Kornheiser’s...
Via Awful Announcing
16 hours ago

Urban Meyer says Tim Tebow still wants to play in the NFL

Tim Tebow hasn’t played professional football in nearly two years, but the former Florida quarterback, unsurprisingly, wants another shot.  The current ESPN college football analyst was in Columbus on Wednesday, speaking to his former coach’s College Football Playoff-bound team. During his visit with No. 4 Ohio State, Tebow spent some time with Urban Meyer. The 50-year-old...
Via College Spun
15 hours ago

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

This Sunday, NFC South rivals New Orleans Saints (6-8) and Atlanta Falcons (5-9) will battle for a potential division title. A game that could eliminate Atlanta from playoff contention with a loss. Saints’ cornerback Keenan Lewis had a rather morbid and blunt take on the upcoming game (via NFL.com). We’re definitely gonna give them their funeral. Even though Lewis seems...
Via Sportsnaut
15 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.