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

MLB reportedly will try to show compassion to Josh Hamilton

Jon Gruden: Bears need to move on from Jay Cutler

Blue Jays OF tears meniscus in freak sprinkler accident

Death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Five bubble teams playing well heading into March

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Falcons release Steven Jackson

Bill Walton has some words of advice for Derrick Rose

Five under-the-radar National Player of the Year candidates

Judge overturns Peterson suspension; NFL to appeal

Dez Bryant's mother in 2012: Dez threatened to knock me out

Full offseason breakdown for all 32 NFL teams

Rex Ryan has truck with Buffalo Bills paint scheme

WATCH: Sidney Crosby catches teammate's stick in mid-air

WATCH: Vanderbilt coach tells own player 'I'll f-ing kill you'

Are the Kings willing to trade DeMarcus Cousins?

Johan Santana signed by Blue Jays to minor league deal

Leafs trade David Clarkson to Blue Jackets For Nathan Horton

Panthers acquire Jaromir Jagr from Devils

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

HBO picks up The Rock’s football series, ‘Ballers’

The key offseason moves for every MLB team

Giancarlo Stanton gets first-ever customized facemask

Ronda Rousey, Arianny Celeste have verbal sparring match

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

MLB reportedly will try to show compassion to Josh Hamilton

  It appears Josh Hamilton has left Major League Baseball little choice.   FOX Sports reported Friday morning that MLB is trying to walk the line when it comes to Hamilton’s latest relapse. The admitted addict recently fell off the wagon, according to reports, as Hamilton reportedly used cocaine and alcohol. That’s a clear violation of the league’s drug policy...
Via NESN.com
2 hours ago

Jon Gruden: Bears need to move on from Jay Cutler

The Chicago Bears have yet to decide if they will stick with Jay Cutler for the 2015 season, but former NFL coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden does not think the decision should be all that difficult. Gruden believes Cutler has to go. During an appearance on “Mike and Mike” on Thursday, Gruden said...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
1 hour ago

Blue Jays OF tears meniscus in freak sprinkler accident

  It’s that time of the year again.   For some reason, MLB spring training brings about the strangest and most unfortunate injuries. And Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders was 2015’s first victim, tearing his left meniscus after stepping on a sprinkler head while shagging balls. Saunders said he felt a pop when it happened. “I just tried to walk...
Via NESN.com
10 hours ago

Death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Once in a while I like to take a step back and remind myself and anyone listening that this world has a lot to offer. So many things can and should give inspire us — love, sex, money, food, travel, work, music, cinema, physical exercise, and of course sports. Some of us can’t get enough of all of that, some have other vices, some only one or two. But although work and sports...
Via This Given Sunday
11 hours ago

Five bubble teams playing well heading into March

Come Sunday, the calendar will turn to March which for college basketball fans, marks a special time of year. As the NCAA tournament is just weeks away from tipping off, most of us know that the usual suspects like Kentucky, Duke and Kansas are sure to be there. For several other teams, the goal right now is simply getting into the field of 68. For teams on the bubble, every game...
Via The Student Section
1 day ago

Falcons release Steven Jackson

The hits keep coming for NFL running backs. A day after the Detroit Lions sent Reggie Bush packing, veteran running back Steven Jackson was released by the Atlanta Falcons. On the surface, this move is not surprising. Jackson, 31, put up 1,250 yards and 12 touchdowns in two seasons with the Falcons. The former Pro Bowler was set to count $4.92 million against the cap in 2015. By...
Via Sportsnaut
14 hours ago

Bill Walton has some words of advice for Derrick Rose

If anyone can relate to what Derrick Rose is going through, it’s Bill Walton. Long before there was Rose, Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Brandon Roy, or any other promising NBA star whose career was derailed by injuries, there was Walton. Walton was a three-time college player of the year and led UCLA to two national...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
16 hours ago

Five under-the-radar National Player of the Year candidates

While March and April are undoubtedly for the NCAA tournament, February has, at least in recent years, turned into the month for three things: bubble talk, 1-seed talk, and player of the year talk. This year, Wisconsin senior Frank Kaminsky and Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor have been running 1-2 for most of the season in the POY discussion, with Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell...
Via The Student Section
1 day ago

Judge overturns Peterson suspension; NFL to appeal

So much for this being a slow time of the year around the NFL. As has been the case over the past several months, off-field issues are making headlines around the league. Hours after independent arbitrator and federal court judge David Doty ruled that the league could not apply the current personal conduct policy to Adrian Peterson stemming from his child abuse case, reports are...
Via Sportsnaut
18 hours ago

Dez Bryant's mother in 2012: Dez threatened to knock me out

Back in 2012, Dez Bryant was arrested on a misdemeanor family violence charge after he allegedly assaulted his mother. The charge was later dropped, but not before Bryant’s mother explained to police in detail the way she claims her son attacked her. On Tuesday, TMZ obtained an interview video from when Angela Bryant spoke to...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
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.