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Steelers again hide behind “concussion-like symptoms”

Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images

Virtually every time the Steelers play a primetime game on Sunday, a key player sustains an apparent concussion and the team apparently tries its damnedest to keep the key player away from the unpredictable and restrictive gears of the league’s concussion protocol.

It happened again last night, when safety Troy Polamalu took a knee to the noggin.  Instead of promptly taking him to the locker room for a full evaluation under quiet and calm circumstances, the Steelers allowed him to remain on the sidelines for the rest of the first half — at one point with his helmet on, as if he were returning to the game.

Fortunately, the Steelers got wise during intermission, deciding to leave Polamalu in the locker room for the balance of the game.  Given their past handling of head injuries, that’s progress.

Still, after the game, coach Mike Tomlin wouldn’t admit that Polamalu suffered a concussion.  Instead, Tomlin once again broke out a term that he has used at least twice before this season:  “concussion-like symptoms.”

It’s unclear whether this term allows the Steelers to skirt the concussion protocol, but there has to be a reason for the franchise’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge that a player has suffered a concussion.  And while I firmly believe that men who have suffered a concussion but who are lucid should be able to assume the risk of returning to action before every last symptom of the concussion has disappeared, teams need to be honest — and fully transparent — when it comes to determining that a player has suffered a concussion.

Three weeks ago, the Jets and the Steelers provided starkly different examples regarding the willingness, and lack thereof, to offer candor on this critical question.  Pittsburgh’s refusal to discuss such situations perhaps contributed to Al Michaels’ comparison last night of the Steelers to “old East Germany” when it comes to the flow of information.

It’s a fair comparison, and more people need to be willing to call out the Steelers for their handling of concussions.

Or, more accurately, for their handling of concussion-like symptoms.

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99 Responses to “Steelers again hide behind “concussion-like symptoms””
  1. joetoronto says: Nov 28, 2011 9:50 AM

    There’s no hiding this one, that was clearly a concussion from a knee to the back of the head.

  2. knowerofallthings says: Nov 28, 2011 9:51 AM

    He got hit around the head and shoulders

  3. bengalsown says: Nov 28, 2011 9:53 AM

    I’m surprised they didn’t call it a “stinger”, which seems to be a sweeping epidemic in the league.

  4. jimbobobjr says: Nov 28, 2011 10:00 AM

    If Polamalu would actually wrap someone up instead of constantly nose diving at their legs this wouldn’t be an issue.

  5. messageboard2 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:03 AM

    Polamalu’s technique on that tackle will not be put in any coaching videos thats for sure.

  6. redguy12588 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:04 AM

    Polamalu didn’t re-enter the game. The jets player did. I’m not sure what the issue is, other than you don’t like the way tomlin phrases things.

  7. ravensfan4life52 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:04 AM

    breaking out the cold war comparisons? wow. lol

  8. bpotaz says: Nov 28, 2011 10:05 AM

    The Steelers are suffering from “Not going to win the division- like symptoms”. Wah…

  9. sudz28 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:06 AM

    I’m a lifelong Steelers fan and as much as I hate the thought of losing Polamalu for any length of time, I do wish the Steelers (and all NFL teams) would be more careful when dealing with potential head injuries/concussions. It’s just not worth the long-term risks. Frankly I’m disappointed the league itself doesn’t keep a doctor in the stadium for each game in order to give a test to any player suspected of having a concussion – I think a third-party expert is exactly what the situation calls for. If in doubt, KEEP HIM OUT!

  10. peytonwantsaflag says: Nov 28, 2011 10:07 AM

    Coaching his team to hit illegally and creating an atmosphere that puts pressure on injured players to play- It’s becoming pretty obvious that Tomlin (the the Rooneys) have little regard for the safety and finances of their players.

  11. psychoward says: Nov 28, 2011 10:08 AM

    Nice hit on that big SOB though.

  12. fthrvic says: Nov 28, 2011 10:08 AM

    Maybe players should stop going in head first.

  13. yettyskills says: Nov 28, 2011 10:10 AM

    Steelers have proven year after year, player after player to be a filthy organization, yet there still is this myth, and that’s exactly what it is, a myth. That the Steelers and Rooney are the class of the league.

  14. junobeach44 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:13 AM

    I wonder if the “concussion like symptom” they spoke of was Troy going limp and falling to the turf like a rag doll?

  15. steelerfan999 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:13 AM

    PEOPLE SHOULD MIND THIER OWN BUSINESS

  16. easyeddie says: Nov 28, 2011 10:13 AM

    Perhaps they simply don’t care about their players?

  17. nickster2k says: Nov 28, 2011 10:14 AM

    Forio,

    when exactly did they let him back in the game?

    Oh, they didn’t? Then what’d your problem?

  18. tiffpats4eva says: Nov 28, 2011 10:20 AM

    Like I said, if this were any other organization, the player would have to sit out at least a week.

    Troy will be out there next game.

  19. ianwhetstone says: Nov 28, 2011 10:22 AM

    “Still, after the game, coach Mike Tomlin wouldn’t admit that Polamalu suffered a concussion. Instead, Tomlin once again broke out a term that he has used at least twice before this season: “concussion-like symptoms.””

    Um, maybe because Mike Tomlin is not a doctor qualified to diagnose a concussion, let alone in a locker room prior to thorough examination away from the circumstances of a football game. I don’t hear coaches armchair-diagnosing torn ligaments in the post-game press conference, either.

  20. rexismybff says: Nov 28, 2011 10:22 AM

    Maybe he didn’t suffer a concussion – maybe Tomlin was just sick of watching running backs and receivers flying by him after he overran plays. Seemed like the defense settled down once Ryan Mundy took his place.

  21. AlanSaysYo says: Nov 28, 2011 10:24 AM

    Polamalu came out of the game and stayed out of the game. And you’re still complaining.

  22. henrykissingerisgod says: Nov 28, 2011 10:24 AM

    But they haven’t put the players back in the game.. not to mention the steelers organization is leading the way way with concussion research with upmc…but hey, whatiever gets headlines right

  23. jbl429 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:24 AM

    Maybe the league needs to make sure that any player who takes a hit anywhere from the neck up has to be removed from the game and be evaluated before they are allowed to come back.

  24. flakazoid says: Nov 28, 2011 10:25 AM

    Show one instance where the Steelers let a player back into the game after showing “concussion-like symptoms.” Don’t waste your time, there are none.

    The Steelers have always been in the forefront of treating players with concussions. Ask Merril Hoge the difference between how he was treated for concussions with the Steelers and how he was treated with the Bears. Dr. Maroon, one of the teams doctors, invented the baseline concussion test. Why you insist on trying to make this into something is beyond comprehension.

  25. bubbybrister2 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:27 AM

    I used to blame Cowher for this. Apparently, it’s not the head coach as much as the back office or fear of the back office.

    I remember when Ben suffered a concussion shortly after his return from the motorcycle accident. They threw his ass back out there the following week. Then he suffered another later in the year, and they threw his ass back out there.

    The next thing you know he’s doing really, really stupid things you’d never imagine him doing. Everyone’s shocked and appalled.

    These things affect you short term and they can affect you long term. What is wrong with these people? Just because you pay them millions, doesn’t mean you get to play God with them.

  26. gpmulligan says: Nov 28, 2011 10:28 AM

    One thing that perplexes me is that the Steelers medical staff are the ones that developed the concussion testing standards and techniques, yet the coach seems to ignore the rules. And I am a Steeler season ticket holder. I think player saftey should be priority 1.

  27. kyleortonsarm says: Nov 28, 2011 10:29 AM

    Oh wow the Crimeburgh Psychopaths are using lies and deception to cover up all the things wrong in their organization! What a shocking surprise! It’s totally unlike how they still have a woman beating Harrison on their team, the nut job Ben, and god knows who else on that roster!

  28. Stiller43 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:29 AM

    What if these “concussions” that you diagnose from your couch arent really concussions?

    Nahh they gotta be since you said it.

    Bottom line is he was woozy after a hit to the head, NOT diagnosed with a concussion, and the steelers STILL did not let back in the game. What else do you want?

  29. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Nov 28, 2011 10:31 AM

    If Troy knew how to tackle, it wouldn’t even be a concern.

  30. ineptguy8 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:31 AM

    I am not really sure what the issue is here. He did not re-enter the game. There are no treatments for a concussion other than time. So him standing on the sidelines really means nothing. I like the concussion-like symptoms statement. It is not as if they said, oh its something entirely different. They weren’t sure and I doubt you can ever be totally sure about those things unless the player actually loses consciousness.

  31. smokeya says: Nov 28, 2011 10:33 AM

    20 year from now someone in pittsburgh will get asked, “Hey dude, why is everyone aswell shaking my hand and calling me great?” – “erhhm, you’re Heath Miller” – “ehh, who is that?”

  32. flabtreesports says: Nov 28, 2011 10:34 AM

    He looked like he was out cold for a second or two the way he went limp. Hope he’s cleared to play and back soon.

  33. turdfurgerson68 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:41 AM

    Typical Steelers…they’ll lie & cheat to win.

    The NFL is so scared of offfending the Rooney family its becoming more and more transparent.

  34. Derty Ernie says: Nov 28, 2011 10:44 AM

    If the Chiefs had spent the money for a somewhat decent backup they would have won that game and several others. This team is missing one bib link that a lot of teams are, no quarterback.
    One analyst commented, and I agree, that too many teams went cheap with backup quarterbacks trying to save the money for the star atheletes on the team and when the ace goes down, there isn’t much to fall back on.

  35. pftisahalftruth says: Nov 28, 2011 10:45 AM

    I’m a Packers fan so have no dog in this particular fight, but look, Mike, have you ever been around someone who has had a concussion?? Have you ever talked to someone immediately after?! Apparently you haven’t. It takes a little bit for it to really set it and get a clear indication that something is wrong (when said person hasn’t been knocked unconcious, or been unable to stand up on their own).

    Yes the Steelers could/should (per league concussion policy) have taken him to the locker room for evaluation, but you make this sound like there is some light that instantaneously goes out or something, and that just simply isn’t the case.

    All of that said, the league could institute some sort of G-force registering “sticker” (we’ve all seen them in use on crash test dummies) to the helmet of each player, which, when activated would require the officials to not allow the player back until they’ve been cleared?! I’m not sure there is truly a simple answer to this problem though.

  36. billyrocket says: Nov 28, 2011 10:53 AM

    You repeatedly call out how the Steelers handle concussions, yet in each instance, the player did not return to the game. Which is the most important factor involved. Not what the injury report is or weather they are still on the bench or not.

    Call out the teams who have players with head injuries return to play in the same game.

  37. wingz101 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:54 AM

    Some guys here are missing the point. Most teams are pulling the injured player off the field and sending him to the locker room or a secluded meeting room to be tested. The Steelers do the old “how many fingers” routine and let them sit on the bench. It is as if they are considering putting the guy back in at some point if it gets critical on the field. It’s crazy – if anyone heard what happened to Sheffler in Detroit – puking & headaches a couple of hours after the hit, they would understand that regardless of what a player says, they need to be taken away from the sidelines. The symptoms don’t always appear right away.

  38. ProFootballTalkSucks says: Nov 28, 2011 10:54 AM

    I don’t understand the point of these rants. They took him out of the game with a head injury, they have no idea what the issue is, so they say he has concussion-like symptoms. What exactly is the issue? The fact that they just don’t say he has a concussion?

  39. flakazoid says: Nov 28, 2011 10:54 AM

    jimbobobjr says:
    If Polamalu would actually wrap someone up instead of constantly nose diving at their legs this wouldn’t be an issue.
    ——————————————-
    Let me see you wrap-up a 300lb [tackle eligible]
    offensive lineman.

  40. samoanjungle says: Nov 28, 2011 11:00 AM

    The point isn’t about him “re-entering the game” it’s about hiding that he has a concussion and possibly have him playing before it completely heals which generally takes more than a week.
    Also, if someone is knocked out, I’m pretty sure that is going to result in a concussion on some level. He went to the ground with arms limp.
    If I were a coach, that’s an automatic sit out for at least a week. I wouldn’t call it “concussion-like”. There was an incident that can result in a concussion and then there were symptoms right after – coincidence?
    Safety first. We would all surely like to see Troy live a long and happy healthy life after football.

  41. dickroy says: Nov 28, 2011 11:02 AM

    Troy, I do wish you would wrap up, instead of just flying in and hitting. You do it every time.

    Please coaches lets have a tackling clinic!

  42. dickroy says: Nov 28, 2011 11:04 AM

    So he had concussion-like symptoms. He was not allowed back in the game and maybe after further reveiw he had a concussion, so whats the big deal?

  43. 700levelvet says: Nov 28, 2011 11:07 AM

    Mike Webster would not have missed a down..Oh wait i’m sorry RIP, as the organization had his best interests at heart…..Perhaps, he can just retire now, and join Hoge on the espn crew, as he seems to have a permanent concussion. Either way, I hope this doesn’t pull the family patriarch away from Ireland, as all those campaign contributions, disguised as goodwill, surely has made a difference….Well, of to the dog track………have a great day….

  44. nesuperfan says: Nov 28, 2011 11:11 AM

    I still say: Wait until a key player, like a Brady or Rodgers, gets concussed in a Super Bowl. What will happen then?

    You can bet they will probably play unless it is REALLY bad.

  45. ihateduke says: Nov 28, 2011 11:14 AM

    This is a dumb article. Troy didn’t come back in the game!!! What’s the big deal? Because you don’t like the way they describe it, you’re saying it’s wrong? Please. Move on.

  46. steeelfann says: Nov 28, 2011 11:14 AM

    Oh man up. They are turning the NFL into a fairy league. The players are hating it, the coaches are hating it and the fans are hating it.

    Also, Troy wanted to know if you are calling him a wussy?

  47. steeelfann says: Nov 28, 2011 11:17 AM

    Also, what about the HIPAA laws? Sorry, Mike Tomlin said it was a matter of privacy for the Steelers medical patients. Why are you prying into a patients private medical history?

    Don’t make me call Congress and get them involved.

  48. greenpacker says: Nov 28, 2011 11:19 AM

    probably just faking an injury like the Bear’s starting QB has the habit of doing as well as Vick and the Giants porous defense

  49. justthepeanutgallery says: Nov 28, 2011 11:22 AM

    This is absurd. Someone please point out where something was done incorrectly here? Why the assumption that Polamalu was too injured to sit on the sideline? Does anyone really think the man was messed up beyond belief and they stuck a helmet on him just for fun to make KC think he was coming back in? Wow. It’s more believable that he was OK and wanted back in yet wasn’t allowed to because of his history of concussions. What a different team did with a different player has no bearing on what was done here.

    There’s a ton of doctors in the house today.

  50. 2ndaryinsanity says: Nov 28, 2011 11:36 AM

    Those of you claiming “no foul” because Troy didn’t re-enter the game are missing the point. Is it possible the Steelers are calling it “concussion-like symptoms” do so to ensure the player is available for the following week (Rather than having to sit out until they are able to pass all the concusion tests)??? In my opinion, it’s quite possible.
    I think a lot of teams besides the steelers skirt the concussion rules (Vick’s “dirt” in his eyes comes to mind). The only way to protect players from themselves and their teams is to have an independent doctor hired by the NFL at every game…they will examine any player who exibits “concussion like symptoms” vs an actual concussion.

  51. 3octaveFart says: Nov 28, 2011 11:38 AM

    Steelers again hide behind “concussion-like symptoms”

    You mean like Tom Brady’s mysterious, vague, years-old shoulder injury?

  52. Deb says: Nov 28, 2011 11:51 AM

    As I’m sure you well know, the Steelers were at the forefront of pushing for stronger concussion standards and were among the first teams to have a neurologist on the sidelines–long before the NFL expressed any interest in concussions. Allowing a player to remain on the sidelines does not jeopardize his health. Not one of the players cited as having “concussionlike symptoms” re-entered the game.

    It takes time and appropriate testing to diagnose a concussion. While I’m glad so many here are able to divine the diagnosis through their televisions, I’ll trust the findings of the Steelers medical staff. The Rooneys have always been known to treat their players like family. And they’re pretty frugal people. So, Chicken Little, I doubt they’ve suddenly started playing fast-and-loose with their players’ health … or their multi-million-dollar assets.

  53. whodeydaytonchapter says: Nov 28, 2011 11:52 AM

    This is getting old. Time for Goodell to get off his kiester and climb in Tomlin’s.

  54. koenig61 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:59 AM

    Sometimes a player really is just woozy, and not concussed. That’s why you take them out of the game and watch them and give them the tests.

    All we see are 15 second shots of the camera on the sidelines. Does anyone know what teh doctors actually did on the sidelines or at halftime? no we dont so stop assuming.

    The fact is that the Steelers (or any team) wants to keep the opposing team from knowing if a player will return. They want to keep this from the other team as long as possible, which in today’s game is hard considering all of the sideline reporters, and the cameras focusing on players when they are on the sidelines. So at best the Steelers kept the Chiefs from knowing if Troy would come back into the game for perhaps 10 minutes of the actual game. I’m certain the Chiefs figured it out pretty soon anyway, either from their booth folks watching the replay or seeing the numerous sideline shots of Troy.

  55. koenig61 says: Nov 28, 2011 12:04 PM

    Concussion like symptoms, means someone who has had similar symptoms to a concussion, who may or may not have an actual concussion at this time but we will continue to watch and evaluate the player. Symptoms can get worse as time passes. Also I am not at liberty to make any determination as to the conditions until our Dr’s have reviewed his helath as the week progresses. I am a coach not a Dr. The moment we have anything definitive, we will report it, however we thought it was prudent for his safety to remove him from the game and not allow him to re-enter.

  56. 700levelvet says: Nov 28, 2011 12:06 PM

    Did he use his cell phone to call his wife?

  57. sbs9101314304043 says: Nov 28, 2011 12:09 PM

    Seriously, All you haters need to find something else to complain about. You only wished your Franchise was as good as the Steelers.

    The Steelers did nothing wrong in handling Polamalu.
    Other than a few visual test done on the sideline, true testing to diagnose the Grade of the concussion should not be done until 24-48 hours after the injury. No NFL Rules were broken and the player in question did not return to the game, per the NFL Guidelines. No where in the NFL rules does it state that the player must be taken off the field for evaluation.

    There is nothing wrong with Tomlin’s description of the injury. He refused to speculate or let the press put words into his mouth. He was not hiding anything, just stating what he knew at the time.

  58. somekat says: Nov 28, 2011 12:10 PM

    When he finally takes too many, and becomes a vegetable, will they say he has “vegetable like symptoms?”

  59. 700levelvet says: Nov 28, 2011 12:18 PM

    @steelfan
    Please…….the only reason you know HIPPA laws exist, is because you saw the capital letters when you got you latest unemployment check…..By your genius analysis, i suppose injury reports in the NFL are a violation of HIPPA laws? Same thing right?

  60. lolurpoop says: Nov 28, 2011 12:22 PM

    Been saying this everytime I see it happen… The league needs to step up and assure these players and the Steelers are following the safety procautions…

  61. yettyskills says: Nov 28, 2011 12:25 PM

    Troy P will end up like Mike Webster and Steeler owner, coaches and fans could not care less.

  62. johntonioholmes says: Nov 28, 2011 12:25 PM

    They, kept him out of the game, Mike.

    What does it matter how they phrased the injury?

  63. ProFootballTalkSucks says: Nov 28, 2011 12:28 PM

    “Wow. It’s more believable that he was OK and wanted back in yet wasn’t allowed to because of his history of concussions.”

    I agree, but this site relies on misleading headlines and half-truths to sell ad space. No sensationalism = no money.

  64. hgrubsttipkcuf says: Nov 28, 2011 12:32 PM

    the thing is the steelers were better off without this overrated clown

  65. bunkmcnulty says: Nov 28, 2011 12:33 PM

    flakazoid says:
    Nov 28, 2011 10:25 AM
    Show one instance where the Steelers let a player back into the game after showing “concussion-like symptoms.” Don’t waste your time, there are none.

    The Steelers have always been in the forefront of treating players with concussions. Ask Merril Hoge the difference between how he was treated for concussions with the Steelers and how he was treated with the Bears. Dr. Maroon, one of the teams doctors, invented the baseline concussion test. Why you insist on trying to make this into something is beyond comprehension.

    ___________

    Here’s your example:

    Last year’s playoff game versus Ravens. Jonathon Scott wobbles off the field. The Steelers O-line was decimated with injuries. Damned if Scott didn’t finish that game. Fact!

    In the injury report for the next week against the Jets in the AFC Championship Scott is listed with a head injury. I don’t think he missed more than 1 series against the Ravens in that game.

  66. buckifan4life says: Nov 28, 2011 12:49 PM

    They did it again…

  67. realitypolice says: Nov 28, 2011 12:51 PM

    Way to skew young, Al.

    I’ll bet half the viewing audience didn’t even know there used to be two Germanys.

  68. jf203 says: Nov 28, 2011 12:55 PM

    At this point in his career
    TROY = VERY OVERRATED out of position a lot and all he does is guesses..but now he is losing his speed to make up for wrong guesses…

  69. baltimoresnativeson says: Nov 28, 2011 1:02 PM

    Go Ravens

  70. caseyanthonymunoz says: Nov 28, 2011 1:12 PM

    Is this a surprise? You’re talking about an organization that had a paid, in house doctor, concocting steroids and HGH for players in the team facilities for over two decades. Dr Richard Rydze was employed by the Rooneys because they didn’t care one bit about their players health and safety. The Steelers are the epitome of classlessness when it comes to player welfare. People should really read up on all the organizational cheating and PED abuse. I feel bad for guys like Steve Courson.

  71. toolkien says: Nov 28, 2011 1:17 PM

    Can anybody think of anything other than drugs that causes “concussion like symptoms” and not be a concussion? Pinwheel eyes, staggers, “where the hell am I?”?

  72. jmat40 says: Nov 28, 2011 1:17 PM

    Why admit anything if you don’t absolutely have to?
    I wouldn’t.

  73. erikinhell says: Nov 28, 2011 1:24 PM

    The players are adults, not children. By now, if they don’t know the risk they take later in life for playing this game, they’re probably too stupid to make a team anyway.

    Should a team remove a player from a game when he’s obviously not able to play due to a concussion? Yes. Should a team protect their investment by keeping a player out that has a concussion? Yes. Should a player that insists he’s able to play be allowed back into a game? Yes. It’s his life, his career, and his future.

  74. geezohman says: Nov 28, 2011 1:25 PM

    thats what happens when you …

    DUMP DOWN to the competition !

    That game should have been 50-0….

    Stillers just can’t get up for a lousy team !

    oh… subject?.. hey… the players get paid plenty… they decide if they got ‘health’ -body’ issues…

    Ben is out playing… Cutler goes to the hospital…

    Not a game for the faint hearted

  75. olskool711 says: Nov 28, 2011 2:03 PM

    This league commissioner continues to push the envelope on making and applying policies without the stoolers, their owners, coaches, players and fans approval. This is unprecedented!

    I’m surprised that four or five players, and other representatives, haven’t come out and challenged Goodell’s authority on this one, as they have whenever eliminating dirty play or not giving them their way has come up in the past.

    When you allow the worst franchise in the history of sport, to then take on a wholesale steroid policy to turn things around, and then you can successfully orchestrate a an “Eastern Block” media blackout that is unprecedented, you realize where the real power lays.

    The steelroids will do what they want to do, they are like the honeybadger. If Harrison wants to dip his forehead at the last second and drill it into the side of Josh Cribb’s temple, he will! And, if you don’t like it stooler nation will tell you how “legal” of a hit it was and how you don’t know football.

    Its kinda like the Bcs.

    Get used to it.

  76. melikefootball says: Nov 28, 2011 2:04 PM

    The Steelers have become the team for all haters. Now even on this webb page. I guess the punter for the Chargers should have been sent to the locker room as well.

  77. lennylyles says: Nov 28, 2011 2:08 PM

    Everyone knew when Rooney and Tomlin met with the commish the fix was once again in. The Steelers make their own rules, Big Ben can make an obvious fumble but the officials will never call it, and why follow league protocol with concussions when they are allowed to do what they want.

  78. macbull says: Nov 28, 2011 2:20 PM

    Fix the helmets, Roger…same basic helmet has been used by the NFL for over 40 yrs.

    A rock hard plastic outer shell with padding and air bags inside for cushioning.

    Since Willie Lanier first wore a helmet with padding added to the outside of the rock hard outer shell, the NFL has known a better and safer helmet option was available.

    How many more players have to be injured before Goodell and the NFL adopt a “Pro Cap” type helmet, with padding added to the outside?

  79. bearsstillsuck says: Nov 28, 2011 2:29 PM

    when somebody breaks an arm, do they stand on the sidelines with a helmet on or go inside? the steelers are just using a loophole in the rules.

  80. steeelfann says: Nov 28, 2011 2:30 PM

    700levelvet says: Nov 28, 2011 12:18 PM

    @steelfan
    Please…….the only reason you know HIPPA laws exist, is because you saw the capital letters when you got you latest unemployment check…..By your genius analysis, i suppose injury reports in the NFL are a violation of HIPPA laws? Same thing right?
    ———————————-
    To 700levelvet: It is known as sarcasm directed at all the lawyerly talk about concussions and injuries blah, blah, blah. So sick of it. It is a man’s game and a free country. Tired of all the law and government BS talk about a once great game. Try to get the sarcasm and where it is directed. And one other thing, it is HIPAA, not HIPPA.

  81. wringworm says: Nov 28, 2011 2:40 PM

    The Yinzers know that their style of play and this concussion issue are tied together…

    …they get fined for spearing people and try and call the NFL out saying its a witch hunt and clean play, then they hide their self-inflicted MASH players when their dome’s get crushed…

    Stop leading with the crowns Pittsburgh and all this will go away, but then again so will your “dominance”.

    If the Lions’ coaching staff is partially responsible for Suh and his antics, so should the Pittsburgh staff be on the hook for the personal fouls and the lead-with-the-helmet based injuries.

  82. hehateu says: Nov 28, 2011 3:03 PM

    Wow, a day can’t go by without an anti steeler article appearing on this site, followed by the predicatable steeler bashing.-now watch the thumbs downs numbers climb because i refused to join the anti steeler club

  83. tnttaxi says: Nov 28, 2011 3:07 PM

    HIPPA laws state 1st violation could result in a personal fine of $25,000. A lay man (without medical liscense) cannot give a medical diagnosis of “concussion” but can state concussion-like symptoms. Giving a medical disgnosis w/o the proper permission is in direct violation of HIPPA laws.

  84. nejerseygirl says: Nov 28, 2011 3:07 PM

    To say that it should be decided by the players as to whether or not they return to the game is ridiculous; just as it’s ridiculous to think that Tomlin should have said anything different than he did… these guys are not doctors. They can’t make decisions based on things that they simply do not know. Troy couldn’t have decided, “I’m heading back in after one play,” any more than Tomlin could have said, “He definitely has a concussion and we’re keeping him out of the game because of that.”

    The NFL needs to look out for the players, and the players need to look out for themselves.

    And this whole “Football is a man’s sport and crying is for sissies” nonsense seriously needs to stop. Yes, these guys are out there playing a game, but does that mean that they should play with their health, as well? What price should they have to pay to keep us entertained?

    Being a Pats fan, Ted Johnson’s story comes to mind. Read it.

  85. bunkmcnulty says: Nov 28, 2011 3:12 PM

    The concussion threads I think show that many of the posters on here have had their share of damage from concussions.

    The truth is, the level of knowledge and understanding about concussions is far greater today than in past years. Comments suggestiong “it’s a man’s game” and “it’s their life” are just about as foolish as they come. And I agree it isn’t just about them not re-entering the game. The latest information on concussion recovery discusses removal of any stimulus from the affected person (such as removing them from the sidelines). There are now restrictions (depending on severity) from game plan review and film study to allow the brain to rest after concussion. So standing on the sideline agonizing over not being able to play is not necessarily the best thing for the player.

    To suggest players can police themselves or that they know the risks is also foolish. Does a drunk, over .08 blood alcohol level, think they can still drive? Does a person with a potential concussion (which is also an impairment) think clearly? Obviously not. If the players themselves weren’t concerned about this then why was part of the bargaining agreement?

    Fans have to come to grips with the “evolution” of the game which reflects our increased knowledge on head injuries. To suggest this is “a man’s game” is bravado coming from someone who has no true understanding of the medical issues.

  86. ProFootballTalkSucks says: Nov 28, 2011 3:36 PM

    bunkmcnulty says:

    “Last year’s playoff game versus Ravens. Jonathon Scott wobbles off the field. The Steelers O-line was decimated with injuries. Damned if Scott didn’t finish that game. Fact!”

    How is that someone like you–who’s clearly had no formal medical training–can spot a concussion from the way a guy walks off the field, but these idiot doctors actually have to use a battery of tests to diagnosis it?

  87. flakazoid says: Nov 28, 2011 3:36 PM

    bunkmcnulty says:Nov 28, 2011 12:33 PM

    In the injury report for the next week against the Jets in the AFC Championship Scott is listed with a head injury. I don’t think he missed more than 1 series against the Ravens in that game.
    ——————————————————–
    Post the link for that injury report on this page and i will gladly retract my statement.

  88. raw101 says: Nov 28, 2011 4:17 PM

    Man there are a bunch of steelers haters here. If this had been one of their players it wouldnt be an issue.

  89. cowhawkfan says: Nov 28, 2011 4:33 PM

    Polamalu should be fined for that hit. He clearly led with his head. The fact he injured himself should not prevent a fine!!

  90. bunkmcnulty says: Nov 28, 2011 4:37 PM

    @flakazoid – links coming…have several newspaper accounts of this. Looking for NFL’s prior listing.

    @ProFootballTalk – how would you know whether I have any medical training or background or not? I never called anyone “idiot doctors” or anything like that. I would not describe doctors that way. When you see some one wobble off the field, not at the end of the series, but in the middle of a series, and then later see a injury report with a head injury, there is pretty good evidence for suspicion of a concussion. Did I pee in your corn flakes this morning or something? You seem testy.

  91. bshook87 says: Nov 28, 2011 4:58 PM

    that’s the Steelers for ya though, never giving the correct info… they learned from the Pats apparently.

  92. flakazoid says: Nov 28, 2011 5:23 PM

    bunkmcnulty

    i posted the link to ESPN’s page, but this site wouldn’t put it through. It makes absolutely no mention of Jonathan Scott on the injury report for last years AFC championship game–let alone listing him as having a “head injury.” Here it is:

    Steelers (13-4)
    Doubtful: DE Aaron Smith (triceps)
    Questionable: S Will Allen (knee), CB Bryant McFadden (abdomen)
    Probable: S Troy Polamalu (Achilles)

    Please refrain from posting innacurate information to support your unsupportable claims.

  93. anacherforester says: Nov 28, 2011 5:26 PM

    “Men who have suffered a concussion but who are lucid should be able to assume the risk of returning to action.”

    Who decides what “lucid” means? A concussion is defined as a traumatic brain injury. Having had a few concussions myself, I can attest to while being reasonably “lucid” my judgement was often impaired following the injury.

    Yes, the NFL’s concussion culture may be improving. But it’s still inconsistent at best in handling TBIs from the coaching staffs to the medical personnel & right on down to the players. (All subjective team employees no less).

    Every previous concussion regardless of severity makes it that much easier to get another, and often worse, concussion. That’s a undeniable medical fact the NFL still seems to be denial about. Players like Polamalu included.

  94. aljack88 says: Nov 28, 2011 9:36 PM

    erikinhell says:
    Nov 28, 2011 1:24 PM
    Should a player that insists he’s able to play be allowed back into a game? Yes. It’s his life, his career, and his future.
    ————————————————————
    It’s answers like this this that keep those like Mike in business. If a player gets knocked silly, is he capable of making responsible decisions? If he is allowed to play and he suffers some serious setback that is due to the head trauma, those who let him play are gonna pay. That’s why these guys don’t play anymore during that game.

  95. bunkmcnulty says: Nov 28, 2011 11:16 PM

    @flakazoid

    Sorry, in all the excitement of being right, I lost count. I actually posted 4 links for you. Not 3.

    Two newspapers – one a PA publication. One betting site. One a fantasy site. Funny how the Steelers then never listed that injury. Oh, he hurt his leg that’s right!

    And I had to prove myself why?

  96. steelerdynasty2010 says: Nov 29, 2011 11:36 AM

    wow, modern medicine has really come a long way. Armchair MDs/QBs can now diagnose concussions from the comfort of their own homes (or the closest TV), all without a cumbersome medical evaluation with doctors and other medical personnel asking questions and doing a medical evaluation they learned to do in one of those silly little med school classes. they can also now report their findings on awesome sites like PFT.

    OR

    perhaps a preliminary eval was done on the sidelines that caused the med staff to want to do a complete and thorough eval at halftime (in the quiet environment you suggest). once that eval was complete, maybe they made a recommendation/determination that he not return to the game….

    relax

  97. Dustin Fink says: Nov 29, 2011 12:25 PM

    @steelerdynasty2010

    A: concussions can be “caught” by simply observing, at least the suspicion of one…

    B: If a prelim eval was done that warranted a complete eval then by NFL policies and protocol that should have occurred immediately.

    The signs of a brain injury are rarely a “fasle-positive”. The simple definition of a concussion is:
    Disruption of normal brain funtion. If you can walk normally then you stumble about after a traumatic incident that is a concussion at its root… If you are awake then lose consciousness that is a concussion at its root… If you know your assignments on the field then you don’t after a traumatic incident that is a concussion at its root…

    Regarless all those situations warrant a full evaluation in a quiet room, period…

    The Steelers should know;
    - Mike Webster (first CTE in NFL’er)
    - ImPACT/UPMC
    - Joseph Maroon (former team doc, leading author of discredited information about concussions from pre-2008)

  98. steelerdynasty2010 says: Nov 30, 2011 7:26 AM

    @Dustin Fink:
    what medical journals have you been reading? concussions REQUIRE a battery of tests to PROPERLY diagnose, that’s why the league mandates a physician’s involvement in the process, not an athletic trainer, coach, teammate, or some league appointed guy who’s going to sit in the press box and spot those who display concussion-like symptoms. it’s also a big reason why they now require the baseline testing. the decision rests with the doctor on both the diagnosis AND said players clearance to return to play. period.
    “signs are rarely a false positive”?? really? so everytime you have a headache or cant remember something after you bump your head is DEFINITELY a concussion? every person who passes out or faints does so because they have a concussion? gems like these are what keep me coming back to PFT…

  99. gimmeabruschi says: Dec 1, 2011 4:06 PM

    What’s all the fuss?

    He didn’t go back in the game. The End.

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