With the NFL currently facing an avalanche of litigation arising from allegations that the league failed to take proper steps to protect players from concussions, the league is trying to avoid a future flood of lawsuits arising from a potent painkiller that could cause long-term kidney, liver, and/or gastrointestinal problems.
The league quietly has restricted the use of wonder drug Toradol. In the past, players routinely clamored for pre-game shots, as former NFL center Jeremy Newberry told Andrea Kremer of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel earlier this year.
“I’ve seen lines of 20 or 30 of them standing there waiting for a shot,” Newberry said.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says that teams have now been told to use Toradol injections only for “an acute, game-related injury where significant bleeding is not expected and where other oral medications are inadequate or not tolerated.”
The changes came after NFL team physicians developed a task force aimed at making recommendations regarding the use of Toradol. The task force, which included input from outside experts, decided that Toradol ordinarily should be taken orally.
The players don’t like it. Per a league source, players believe that the injections are critical for dealing with pain, both before a game and after a game.
Thus, just as players don’t worry about the future impact of head injuries, they also don’t care about the future health risks associated with Toradol. The league does, regardless of whether the goal is to protect the players from themselves or to protect the league from another flock of future former players.