Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski will step into the ring for a professional boxing match on Saturday night, and if a lockout leaves NFL players looking for another source of income this offseason, Zbikowski may have company.
But Giants running back Brandon Jacobs says that after considering boxing, he decided not to lace up the gloves because he worries about the risks of concussions.
“It’s not that I can’t do it because I can do it,” Jacobs told ESPN. “The issue is the concussions matter.”
Concussions are certainly a risk in boxing, although it’s debatable whether a boxing match puts an athlete at greater risk of concussion than a football game. For his part, Zbikowski has said he’s not particularly concerned about the risk of injury in boxing, saying he thinks the NFL is more taxing. And pro boxers don’t fight 16 times a year.
Jacobs, however, is surely in the majority among NFL players: Even if there’s a lengthy work stoppage this offseason, few players are going to participate in any sport that would put their health at risk, lest they be unable to collect their NFL paychecks when the season starts.