After 13 seasons in the NFL and more concussions than he can count, former Dolphins and Cowboys linebacker Zach Thomas says he doesn’t regret anything about his career, even if it damaged his brain.
“I don’t know how many concussions I had,” Thomas told the Palm Beach Post Monday. “I played through some of them, I guess. I just said it was a sinus problem. You don’t want that [concussion-prone] label, because it’ll run you out of the league.”
Those comments point to one of the biggest obstacles the NFL has to overcome regarding concussions: Even if the league, coaches and team doctors take every precaution to prevent players who suffered concussions from returning to the field before they’re ready, some players will mislead their coaches and team doctors because they want to play even if they’re risking their health.
And Thomas says he’s glad he played the way he did, even as he discusses some of the symptoms of his concussions.
“You get fuzzy vision and can’t concentrate,” Thomas said. “It’s hard to focus. Regrets? No. I knew the risks and chose to take them. If somebody told me when I was a rookie that I’d have the career I had, I’d do it all over again.”