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Cromartie’s concussion exposes league’s lingering loophole

Cromartie Getty Images

Over the last four years, the NFL has done a good job when it comes to ensuring that players with concussions aren’t returned to the field prematurely.  Of course, politics and the legal system had a little something to do with that.

But politics and the legal system have yet to force the league to ensure that all players who potentially have suffered concussions will be removed from play until a proper concussion examination has been conducted.

The latest example of a guy who had a concussion but who wasn’t checked for a concussion until after the game in which the concussion was sustained comes from Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie.  Dom Cosentino of NJ.com chronicles a frustrating exercise of evasive answers and double-talk regarding whether Cromartie had a concussion examination during the game.

Cromartie said he had a concussion exam after colliding with teammate Ed Reed.  A Jets spokesman said Cromartie was given only a general medical exam.  Which created the impression that the independent neurologist assigned to the game didn’t deem a concussion exam necessary.  Which the Jets later denied.

None of which makes much sense.

Whether it’s accidental or deliberate, some NFL players currently slip through the cracks when it comes to spotting concussions — possibly because the league and its teams want to avoid keeping healthy players out of action, especially during key moments of key games.  Too many bright lines in this context would potentially result in a healthy franchise quarterback being sidelined for 10 minutes or so of real time during crunch time of a postseason game.

Still, the current situation exposes the NFL to future litigation from players who claim that the league didn’t do enough to diagnose their concussions as they happened.  It also sets the stage for a player to suffer a second concussion while the first one is still fresh, which could lead to a serious brain injury.

Or worse.

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10 Responses to “Cromartie’s concussion exposes league’s lingering loophole”
  1. jakec4 says: Dec 14, 2013 9:23 PM

    At some point the players will no longer be able to sue for head trauma caused by football. It’s like a smoker suing a cigarette company because he got lung cancer or a fat guy suing McDonalds because he’s obese. You accept the risks once it is proven that something isn’t good for your health.

  2. petehemlock says: Dec 14, 2013 9:24 PM

    CTE makes you forget your kids’ names.

  3. ttommytom says: Dec 14, 2013 9:55 PM

    Parents are not going to allow their kids to play football. It is happening more and more in the town I live in.

    This is the beginning of the end. Maybe rightfully so.

    They (we) need to find an alternate to the helmet. An alternate to knees being blown out because of head injuries.

    Something.

  4. chargerdillon says: Dec 14, 2013 10:12 PM

    Cromartie has all the physical tools in the world that he could’ve been the best CB ever if he just had anything going on in his head to begin with.

    The concussion rule is stupid. If you want player safety don’t punish them for admitting an injury.

  5. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 14, 2013 10:38 PM

    ttommytom:

    Don’t worry. Rumor has it that the NFL has sent a representative to meet with the Badminton World Federation to learn some valuable insight as to how they do it without so many injuries.

  6. meatcarroll says: Dec 14, 2013 10:44 PM

    Remember when Alex Smith lost his job because he admitted he had a concussion to Jim Harbaugh?

  7. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 14, 2013 10:45 PM

    And for people who have heard of that stick ball game, well here’s how great that replay system is.

    TONIGHT, a Red Wing got a penalty for slashing when it was clear that Sidney Crosby hit his own man with his stick. It was obvious on replay but they were NOT allowed to use replay to overturn it. The Refs discussed it for a couple minutes and the penalty stuck and it’s now a major controversy. They even had a conference WITH Crosby and still couldn’t get the right call. It’s unknown if Crosby admitted guilt or not when they talked with him.

  8. stlhomeboy says: Dec 15, 2013 12:16 AM

    Remember how the Bengals team doc did it with Marvin Jones on Hard Knocks? That’s how you do it. Every time. There’s your training video.

  9. gochargersgo says: Dec 15, 2013 12:51 AM

    Perfect example a couple weeks back: Josh Gordon took huge hit from a Jaguars player, and was examined for a concussion as a result. He was deemed ok and returned to the game, but missed a lot of time as a result. Playing it safe could potentially lose a game if it involved a QB or other extremely important player.

  10. bspurloc says: Dec 15, 2013 2:15 AM

    Flag Football soon…
    and no Contact for Quarterbacks

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