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

Could Tyrod Taylor be the Buffalo Bills’ savior?

Chicago Bulls fire Tom Thibodeau after five seasons

LeSean McCoy refuses to return Chip Kelly's calls

Brandon Marshall and Geno Smith are living together

Ex-Blue Devil tweeted Durham police pulled gun on him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Nick Saban gives Jim McElwain a ringing endorsement

Chuck Pagano: Colts 'further ahead than ever before'

Somehow, the Patriots are going to be just fine

Dwight Howard says he's 'still a champion' after playoff exit

WATCH: Klay Thompson takes knee to head from Ariza

DeSean Jackson skips Redskins OTAs, goes to Cavs game

President Obama answers NBA questions on Twitter

'Entourage' creator rips Eli Manning for ditching movie

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ronda Rousey upset with Bethe Correia for suicide comments

The Cleveland Cavaliers are top (under)dogs

Bryce Harper on his breakout

WATCH: Jon Lester sets MLB hitless record

Golden State of Being: Ugly win a beautiful thing for Warriors

Six moves that made the Warriors NBA title contenders

Lil B takes credit for Harden's terrible game, lifts curse

Riley Curry steals show at postgame news conference

Warriors beat Rockets in Game 5, advance to NBA Finals

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

Could Tyrod Taylor be the Buffalo Bills’ savior?

Much of the chatter this offseason has been about the Buffalo Bills current quarterback situation. We all know that it us somewhere between mediocre and okay. But is it really? We know what we have with Matt Cassel. We think we know what we have with EJ Manuel, and we definitely know that Jeff Tuel is really nothing more than a camp arm. That leaves Tyrod Taylor? Could he be the...
Via cover32
2 hours ago

Chicago Bulls fire Tom Thibodeau after five seasons

The Chicago Bulls averaged 51 wins per season under head coach Tom Thibodeau. On Thursday, the Bulls fired him. There were plenty of rumors surrounding Thibodeau’s job security despite five winning seasons at the helm. On Thursday, the club made it official and announced they had fired the 57-year-old. Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf released a statement with the announcement...
Via NESN.com
2 hours ago

LeSean McCoy refuses to return Chip Kelly's calls

When the Philadelphia Eagles traded LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills, he was — to say the absolute least — not a happy camper. McCoy is a Pennsylvania man: He was born there, he went to High School there, he went to college there and he spent the first six years of his professional career there. So to be jettisoned off to Buffalo with no notice seemed a bit cold, and that’s...
Via cover32
2 hours ago

Brandon Marshall and Geno Smith are living together

Brandon Marshall and Geno Smith are so determined to build chemistry as teammates with the New York Jets that they have decided to move in together. According to Brian Costello of the New York Post, Marshall moved into Smith’s New Jersey home about a month ago. The two have a close relationship and got together...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
1 hour ago

Ex-Blue Devil tweeted Durham police pulled gun on him

Nolan Smith compiled an outstanding career at Duke, helping the Blue Devils capture the 2010 National Championship. He’s certainly revered by Duke fans and well-known in the city of Durham, where Duke is located. While back in Durham yesterday, Smith claims he had a tense and odd run-in with members of the Durham police department. According to Smith’s Twitter, he was pulled...
Via College Spun
3 hours ago

Nick Saban gives Jim McElwain a ringing endorsement

Nick Saban had really high praise for Jim McElwain at the SEC spring meetings. He believes the Florida Gators are in good hands.
Via Gamedayr
4 hours ago

Chuck Pagano: Colts 'further ahead than ever before'

The Indianapolis Colts are entering their second week of OTAs, and with the way his team is coming along he is very pleased. “We are further ahead,I think, then we’ve ever been at this point in any offseason, since we’ve been here.” Pagano told reporters yesterday. That is high praise as the Colts are heading into their fourth season under the head coach. The Colts have...
Via cover32
7 hours ago

Somehow, the Patriots are going to be just fine

Love them or hate them. There’s really not much in between for football fans in terms of the New England Patriots, but there is no denying that the defending Super Bowl champions are a well-oiled machine. The Patriots have made more noise than anyone else this offseason as a result of the “Deflategate” investigation that concluded New England quarterback Tom Brady likely...
Via This Given Sunday
6 hours ago

Dwight Howard says he's 'still a champion' after playoff exit

  Dwight Howard is a “glass half full” kind of guy, which is an admirable trait. Except when the glass is empty.   Howard’s Houston Rockets fell to the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals Wednesday night, thus extending their NBA title drought to 20 seasons. After the game, Howard — who led the Rockets with 18 points, 16 rebounds...
Via NESN.com
5 hours ago

DeSean Jackson skips Redskins OTAs, goes to Cavs game

DeSean Jackson was surrounded by red and gold jerseys Tuesday, but they didn’t belong to the Washington Redskins. The Redskins wide receiver wasn’t in attendance for his team’s first day of organized team activities. Normally, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal, as OTAs are completely voluntary under the new collective bargaining agreement and Jackson even told Washington...
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.