Skip to content

Polamalu says he has lied about concussions to keep playing

Troy Polamalu, Shawn Lauvao AP

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu seems to value being on the field for his teammates more than he values his own health and safety.

Polamalu said on the Dan Patrick Show that he has lied about symptoms of concussions so that he’d be cleared to stay on the field.

“Yes, I have, for sure,” Polamalu said.

Polamalu, however, seems to see a distinction between just saying he doesn’t feel dazed after a hit to the head when maybe he actually does, and blatantly lying about a significant injury.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve had any major lies,” Polamalu said. “Somebody may say, ‘Is your knee messed up?’ It may be kind of messed up but you just kind of push yourself to be out there with your brothers. I wouldn’t say there are any major lies where I totally lied may way out of concussions. In fact, during concussions, if it’s serious enough you can’t even be conscious enough to lie.”

According to Polamalu, there’s a difference between the kind of concussion that takes you off the field and the kinds of dings that doctors might call a concussion but football players view as the cost of doing business.

“I’ve had, I believe, eight or nine recorded concussions. We’ll have another conversation after I’m done playing football,” Polamalu said. “When you get your bell rung they consider that a concussion — I wouldn’t. . . . If that is considered a concussion, I’d say any football player at least records 50 to 100 concussions a year.”

So why is Polamalu willing to lie? He says it’s all about being there for his team.

“There’s so much built up about team camaraderie and sacrifice, and football is such a tough man’s game,” Polamalu said. “I think that’s why it’s so popular, why so many blue-collar communities and people feel really attracted to it, because it’s sort of a blue-collar struggle that football players go through in terms of the physicality of the game and the commitment you need. . . . It’s that commitment you need to play football. You feel sore, you’re beat up, you’re injured, you’re legitimately injured, most people may take three months off to work in an office, we choose to play the next week.”

And sometimes Polamalu even chooses to keep playing in the very game when the medical staff would tell him he shouldn’t.

Permalink 36 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
36 Responses to “Polamalu says he has lied about concussions to keep playing”
  1. zaggs says: Jul 18, 2012 12:27 PM

    I wonder how many former players acted like Polamalu and are now suing the league.

  2. lightcleric says: Jul 18, 2012 12:29 PM

    But does he still lie about using his teammates’ Head & Shoulders?

  3. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jul 18, 2012 12:30 PM

    I thought the hair would be enough of a cushion to prevent concussions.

  4. superdanlp says: Jul 18, 2012 12:30 PM

    50 to 100 concussions a year? good god

  5. prosb4hos says: Jul 18, 2012 12:36 PM

    Like all the former players suing the NFL haven’t.

  6. moagecu says: Jul 18, 2012 12:36 PM

    there goes his lawsuit post paying career.

  7. johntonioholmes says: Jul 18, 2012 12:40 PM

    I think it’s irresponsible to lie about your brain, but players obviously do it.

    He does have a little bit of a point though.

    If you pay attention to the helmet collisions that occur along the line, you know those players are experiencing micro-trauma that may be akin to “getting their bells rung” but aren’t necessarily full-blown concussions.

    In fact, if you’ve ever tackled someone or been tackles, you know that your head gets knocked around pretty good, no matter how perfectly formed the tackle may have been.

  8. upyoursnfu says: Jul 18, 2012 12:41 PM

    Atleast he’s not crying about his contract like some other safeties

  9. lonespeed says: Jul 18, 2012 12:46 PM

    And now that he has admitted it…good luck sueing the NFL post career.

  10. dabigbangclock says: Jul 18, 2012 12:47 PM

    This should not surprise anyone, I would think it is very common among NFL players. These guys are grown ass men who know the health risks, we got to stop trying to bubble wrap them and let them play the game they love to play.

    Football is violent, the fans get it, the players get it, its one of the reasons we love the game. Really the only guy who doesn’t get it is Sheriff Goodell, who would like you to believe he actually cares about the NFL players health and their future, when really the only thing he cares about is the NFL not losing a crippling law suit 30 yrs down the road. He is trying to do enough to cover the league’s ass in the court of law, just hope he doesn’t push too far so the game becomes a shell of the game we all love.

  11. forthand26 says: Jul 18, 2012 12:47 PM

    Multiple concussions – the only excuse for allowing quasi-QB Tim Tebow to shred your secondary for 316 yards in a playoff game.

  12. pongonfl says: Jul 18, 2012 12:48 PM

    The whole process of highschool and collage football selects boys who will do just that.
    How you feeling timmy?
    You ok? good work your team needs you out there!

    lets not be surprised. Its the nature of the game as it has existed and that is why the commish is so vilified for trying to change it.
    To most everyone involved in the game the consequences of deciding to diminish concussions are like blasphemy. But they are just the logical consequences of that decision.

  13. pleasantsurpriselefty says: Jul 18, 2012 12:50 PM

    Lie about getting dinged then when you start drooling and babbling sue the league. Sounds like a plan.

  14. censoredpost says: Jul 18, 2012 12:55 PM

    He has an advantage. The specially formulated Polamalumers in Maximum dandruff control Head & Shoulders provide an Extra barrier of protection. Helps with shine and control issues too.

  15. johnnyjagfan says: Jul 18, 2012 1:01 PM

    In the law, that type of behavior is known as assumption of risk. I wonder how many of the Plaintiffs lied to coaches or trainers in order to get back on the field?

  16. ripster65 says: Jul 18, 2012 1:19 PM

    That’s a shame. At least this should rule him out of any future concussion lawsuits.

  17. dcsween says: Jul 18, 2012 1:20 PM

    Regardless of what Dr. Polamalu would or would not consider to be a concussion, I’m pretty sure that Dr. Nick Riviera has superior medical diagnosis skills.

  18. arzcardinals says: Jul 18, 2012 1:22 PM

    Every WR, safety, RB and lb got concussed during hs ball. Ask anyone playinguf they’ve been ‘dinged’ and they’ll all say yes. It’s a part of the sport u cant stop unless u outlaw tackles.

  19. Deb says: Jul 18, 2012 1:40 PM

    Football players aren’t unique in this. Some companies (the smart ones) have actually begun campaigns to convince workers to stay home when they’re sick rather than risk infecting the rest of the staff. Whether they’re afraid of losing their jobs or perceive themselves as indispensible, many workers will drag themselves to the workplace regardless of their condition. With football, you’ve got the added pressure of being there for the “brothers” and demonstrating your gladiator supremacy. It’s not surprising that players don’t want to admit they’re vulnerable to injury.

  20. gsthebest says: Jul 18, 2012 1:41 PM

    I’ve heard this before! Now let’s see if this guy in 2 years when his career is over tries to piggy back on one of these concussion law suits!

  21. ravenator says: Jul 18, 2012 2:03 PM

    Troy’s skills are definitely diminishing. Watching Ray Rice abuse him for years to come will be awesome!

    Reed > Polamalu

  22. Patriot42 says: Jul 18, 2012 3:09 PM

    Once you expose the general public to the full impact of the football world those that feel they must get involved to save those poor unfortunate souls that were sucked into the world of professional football would probably destroy it in there attempt to save the players.

  23. mostlombardisintheleague says: Jul 18, 2012 3:33 PM

    Watching Sean Spence and Alameda Ta’amu abuse the midget for years to come will be a pleasure. We’ve certainly enjoyed watching Hines Ward abuse Ed Reed over the years.

  24. johnnybgood19 says: Jul 18, 2012 3:42 PM

    It would be impossible to play the game without getting one’s bell rung. So it is part of the game, but if you can figure out that it was just your bell that was rung, is that a concussion???
    Long and short, if you take the guy who is willing to go, because he does not want to let his teammates down, then you have baseball and nobody wants to watch baseball.

  25. lasvegasninerfan says: Jul 18, 2012 4:01 PM

    Now that’s it has been recorded that he values being on the field more than he does his health. Please don’t come running to the NFL attempting to sue them for your stubbornness

  26. maximusprime107 says: Jul 18, 2012 4:36 PM

    Maybe he should finally learn how to tackle instead of dropping his head every time

  27. brettfavresmidget says: Jul 18, 2012 5:25 PM

    I am withholding any and all judgement until I hear from Whines Hard.

  28. njsteeler says: Jul 18, 2012 5:27 PM

    He’s not saying anything that any person that watches or has played the game already knows. This has been going on since the game was invented, and will continue to happen because it’s a “man’s game”, and no one wants to be seen as weak for sitting out because you got your bell rung. Not right, but a fact. Also, how can these former players sue the NFL for their problems? Most played 3-4 years of high school, and another 3-4 years of college. Do they really expect us to believe that they didn’t receive concussions during those years? Are they going to sue the schools too? You know what you signed up for, so man up like Mr. Campbell in Texas, and stop trying to blame a game that put food on your families table for the things that you are suffering through now, and I say this with no disrespect to those that paved the way.

  29. eastofmissball says: Jul 18, 2012 5:52 PM

    I gotta wonder, if the NFL is actually doing any studies on proper helmet fit with personal expression. “That Hair” I enjoy his aggression and is very talented. There is no way that helmet is as good as it can be. I’m all for personal expression, to a limit. He’s not the only one. The Braids, length, cornrows; even heavy beards with chin straps. Maybe it’s not an issue, but need to remember kids emulate the guy’s every day, especially on the field. what do you think???

  30. donnymacjack says: Jul 18, 2012 6:26 PM

    So tiered of reading about concussions. Take the helmets off these guys and I bet the concussions go down by 90% or more. And it’ll only take 1 without a helmet on to change their style of play.

  31. matthewcarlson1 says: Jul 18, 2012 7:30 PM

    He thinks players get their “bell rung” 3 to 6 times per game? I guess idk if thats true but I doubt it. You’d be a veggie after a couple seasons.

  32. antibenapalooza says: Jul 18, 2012 7:36 PM

    You know who I’d like to get more than just a few concussions!

  33. jimmer2372 says: Jul 18, 2012 7:58 PM

    I love Troy and he is my favorite Steeler but he should retire for the good of his family.

  34. jmoody2 says: Jul 18, 2012 8:19 PM

    You don’t hear about concussions from rugby players. I say take away all of the equipment except for the shoes and the career ending hits will disappear

  35. corvusrex96 says: Jul 18, 2012 8:22 PM

    “Lied about concussions to keep playing”

    I guess when Troy is done playing he should sue himself for the longterm concussion effects.

  36. latrobe21 says: Jul 18, 2012 9:32 PM

    Troy is a member of the greatest organization in professional sports – of course he wants to play as much as he can. He’s like Big Ben – forged of Pittsburgh steel with a little bit of KennaMetal for added toughness. Hope he follows Swann’s lead and stays around town when his career is over. Troy, we love you and hope you’ll be fine after football.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!