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Jeff Hartings says he faked his way through concussion tests

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

Center Jeff Hartings played 11 years in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers while twice being named an All-Pro and earning a Super Bowl ring with the Steelers in 2005.

The idea of concussions being a significant injury was a completely foreign thought for most of Hartings’ career in the league. It was something the players didn’t take seriously and would purposefully try to circumvent to keep playing. Now that he is coaching football himself, Hartings more readily sees the impact concussions can have on the football field.

Hartings joined Alex Marvez and Vic Carucci on the Late Hits show on Sirius XM NFL radio from the “Heads Up Football” symposium in Canton, Ohio to discuss his experience with concussions. The symposium is a gathering of over 100 coaches that discuss how to improve football safety.

Hartings said he was discussing the matter with former Buffalo Bills defensive end Phil Hansen about how the players initially took to the idea of concussion tests when it first was introduced to the NFL.

“We were talking about this impact concussion test,” Hartings said. “I remember it came out in ’05 or ’06, right when I was retiring basically and it was kind of a joke. Nobody really took it seriously. We just kind of complained about having to do it – faked our way through it.”

Hartings is coaching now and said he had six or seven kids on his team suffer concussions last year. He said one kid had to spend a week in the hospital because of the injury. The experience helped drive home the seriousness of concussions to Hartings.

“I think the publicity has helped the NFL and helped everyone come around and start teaching us about the significant impact a concussion can have on you long-term and short-term,” Hartings said.

“The other thing that I learned this week and through that experience is you have to take concussions seriously. It’s a part of the game. I don’t want to make a comparison to a sprained ankle but when a player sprains his ankle you sit him out. When he injures his brain, you need to sit him out and you’ve got to take that even more seriously and make sure when they come back they’re fully ready to come back.”

Hartings believes the injuries can be handled properly so that the long-term effects of concussions aren’t problematic and coaches have adequate knowledge of how to deal with concussions when they arise.

“If we handle these injuries the proper way, as a mother you have no reason to be concerned about your son playing football,” Hartings said. “As a matter of fact, I believe that the rewards far outweigh the risks.”

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16 Responses to “Jeff Hartings says he faked his way through concussion tests”
  1. bizzmoneyb says: Jul 18, 2013 3:56 AM

    “treating” concussions is not the issue. its having them in the first place.

  2. lions4life says: Jul 18, 2013 4:52 AM

    The human brain was not designed to sustain repetitive blows. As a young kid I had multiple head injuries which led me to developing epilepsy. Don’t get it twisted I love football however we are witnessing the beginning of the end of football. When that first person dies on the field (which is the last thing I wish and hope for) and it will happen as it is just a matter of time, then everything will be scrutinized and questioned. I hope this “Heads up” program changes things for all football fans sake.

  3. h3min1230 says: Jul 18, 2013 6:02 AM

    This dude smh.

  4. Joemontanaflacco says: Jul 18, 2013 6:46 AM

    So let me get this straight. When the Steelers won their fifth ring, at least one player on the team side stepped the rules so he could continue playing when he should have been out of the game.

  5. bigbenownsthenfl says: Jul 18, 2013 8:27 AM

    Built Steeler tough!!! We don’t complain we just win super bowls! #wegot6keeponhatinhaters!

  6. b3nz0z says: Jul 18, 2013 8:50 AM

    this may be a stupid question, but if db’s could still drape all over receivers wouldn’t less receivers get concussed from going over the middle?

  7. Joemontanaflacco says: Jul 18, 2013 9:30 AM

    “Built Steeler tough!!! We don’t complain we just win super bowls!”

    You obviously complained about having to follow the rules, which you ignored. Congratulations on getting a big fat asterisk placed by Superbowl XL.

  8. 9erssteve says: Jul 18, 2013 9:37 AM

    @lions4life do you even know the first thing about the history of football? Deaths were COMMON in the early days of football and it took PRESIDENTIAL intervention on the issue of safety to prevent the sport being outlawed.

    It wont be concussions that spell the death of football, it will be LAWYERS who cause the death of football, if football is to die at all. Smith and his cronies at the NFLPA want to sue the league over everything, even things THEY’VE AGREED ON PREVIOUSLY.

    It will be law suits over concussions that will kill the league, not the concussions themselves, but even then the league will not go without a fight, people want football, and those at the top of football want more money. Those are strong motivational factors in favor of keeping the league alive!

  9. djstat says: Jul 18, 2013 10:44 AM

    bigbenownsthenfl: only a Neanderthal such as you would be proud of this story. Btw how is Big Ben and his broken ribs? His Super Bowl loss to Green Bay or his pathetic performance in Bowl 40? He was awesome against Arizona in 43 but he does not rule the NFL. Not even close. He’ll Tim Tebow beat his team in 2011

  10. joemontanaflaccid says: Jul 18, 2013 11:21 AM

    If you get a big fat asterisk for a guy knowingly playing with a concussion during a Superbowl, how many big fat asterisks do you get, playing two Superbowls with a Murderer???!

  11. Joemontanaflacco says: Jul 18, 2013 2:21 PM

    “If you get a big fat asterisk for a guy knowingly playing with a concussion during a Superbowl, how many big fat asterisks do you get, playing two Superbowls with a Murderer???!”

    Probably the same number you get when you play with a rapist. Next question.

  12. steelcurtainn says: Jul 18, 2013 2:58 PM

    “Congratulations on getting an asterisk placed by superbowl xl”

    Last time I checked they don’t place any asterisks next to any teams superbowls wins…..ONLY W’s and the steelers got 6 of them. If that was the case the ravens should of had one last year.

  13. joemontanaflaccid says: Jul 18, 2013 3:04 PM

    Looked everywhere, can’t find anything on Roethlisberger being charged or convicted of being a rapist. Looked up Lewis, he was indicted on murder charges, plea bargained obstruction of justice. Next!!

  14. mrcheex says: Jul 18, 2013 7:15 PM

    The number of players playing in Superbowls and even regular season games with concussions would knock your socks off if you knew the truth. To claim that they need an asterisk next to it is completely moronic, even if it is coming from a Ratbird fan. That comment truly doesn’t even garner enough credit for a response but I was completely flabbergasted by the level of idiocy. Bang Bang Stiller Gang

  15. Joemontanaflacco says: Jul 18, 2013 10:04 PM

    Ok, if a player lies to stay in the game, that’s cool. Just checking. I was just curious because so many Steelers fans seem to think honesty is a virtue. To the contrary, liars are welcome to wear black and gold.

  16. scoobies05 says: Jul 19, 2013 12:21 AM

    and you think that he killed two people and they let him plea to a misdeameanor obstruction charge? let me ask this….if they thought he did it then why was he a witness in the murder trial of his friends who were ruled to have acted in self defense because they were attacked? read up on the case sir

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