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Jahvid Best suing NFL, Riddell over concussions


Former Lions running back Jahvid Best’s NFL career was a brief one after a series of concussions forced him off the field in November 2011.

Best was never able to get back to action, leading to his release last year and a role coaching at the University of California. There’s also been talk about reviving his career on the track, but Best’s not totally done with the NFL.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Best has filed suit against the league in Wayne County, Michigan alleging that the NFL was aware of the risks of head injuries suffered by players but didn’t do enough to protect players from getting them. Best also named helmet manufacturer Riddell as a defendant in the suit, which seeks unspecified “economic and noneconomic damages.”

“He was disabled from playing football due to the concussions. That’s all I’m really going to say,” Best’s attorney said, via Dave Birkett of the Free Press.

Birkett adds that the Lions are not part of the suit because Best, who also suffered concussions that caused him to miss his final games while he was playing for Cal, has a separate workman’s compensation claim pending against the team. The team declined to comment on either the suit or the claim.

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81 Responses to “Jahvid Best suing NFL, Riddell over concussions”
  1. rr2000k says: Jan 28, 2014 4:12 PM

    Going to sue genetics too?

  2. moerawn says: Jan 28, 2014 4:13 PM

    I should sue him for all the FF points he cost me and the wasted 3rd overall that year.

  3. mickton says: Jan 28, 2014 4:14 PM

    He’s broke & found a pro bono ambulance chaser

  4. doe22us says: Jan 28, 2014 4:14 PM

    And there it is, on that note i am out, wasnt this guy trying to get clearance, but no Dr worth their salt was willing to do so.

  5. radioactivechimp says: Jan 28, 2014 4:16 PM

    So he’s suing the National Football League because the injury he suffered while playing football prevents him from playing more football…

  6. detroitkitty says: Jan 28, 2014 4:16 PM

    Oh come on. He got his first concussions in college!

    This is why the players settled the suit vs the NFL. Yeah, he got concussions in the NFL but only after he had several in college and who knows how many in high school. In the meantime, you also collected several million from the NFL – including an entire season on IR.

    If you burned through the millions already, that’s your fault (I’m sorry, it was probably not your fault due to the concussions – make sure you add that to your lawsuit too).

  7. FlashPatterson says: Jan 28, 2014 4:16 PM

    Why don’t you sue your parents as well for not making your skull thicker? How about Cal? You could probably sue them too. Oh wait, did you play in Highschool? Add them to the lawsuit, along with every coach you’ve ever had, every teammate who didn’t protect you, and every opponent who hit you. This crap needs to stop, you knew the risks of playing and you were paid extremely well to do so.

  8. jburk003 says: Jan 28, 2014 4:17 PM

    It’s crazy…

    Thinks of the career Marshawn Lynch has had.

    A lot of people whom follow the PAC-10 (then, now PAC-12..) thought Best could be better than Lynch before his string of concussions

  9. gochargersgo says: Jan 28, 2014 4:17 PM

    An unnamed source reports Best is also suing evolution for not considering head injuries from football when the skull was slowly “designed” over time.

  10. soulmancer says: Jan 28, 2014 4:17 PM

    Sad story; a great athlete, determined to overcome the injury obstacles that derailed his promising career. However, it’s unfortunate that a money-hungry lawyer caught his attention.

  11. tmcb7 says: Jan 28, 2014 4:18 PM

    another stupid lawsuit… what’s his defense, he didn’t know concussions were possible in the NFL?
    give me a freggin break.

  12. Kaz says: Jan 28, 2014 4:20 PM

    So they stop you from playing for your own health even as you try to return, and that is how you repay them? He should be happy he didn’t turn out like Young (the crazy wideout the Lions drafted). Because he would have if the Lions had let him return like he was working so hard for.

  13. phillipalpha says: Jan 28, 2014 4:20 PM

    What respect i had left for him, is completely gone now.

    Only thing the Lions and therefore NFL did, was to keep him off the field, to prevent further concussions.

    This move is so class-less its like a marxist utopia.

    Shame on you Jahvid!

  14. fumblenuts says: Jan 28, 2014 4:20 PM

    I lost all respect for this dude…..

  15. Patriot42 says: Jan 28, 2014 4:21 PM

    Please lets be honest about all this concussion stuff. Those players knew a long time ago playing football is a dangerous game.

  16. rcali says: Jan 28, 2014 4:21 PM

    I think I might have to sue my company. My eyes hurt from sitting at my computer all day working, especially since I was forced to take a job working in front of a computer. I hate the fact that are forced to take certain jobs in this country. If only we had a choice…..

  17. Youknowimright says: Jan 28, 2014 4:22 PM

    And this is why the game of football is turning into patty cake. Litigation is ruining the NFL. If he wants to sue anyone it should be the OSU player that up ended him for the concussion that started his downfall. Ugly video if you have never seen it. Concussions are part of the game. Don’t ruin the game because of it. They are big boys. They know what they are getting into.

  18. valentino8100 says: Jan 28, 2014 4:23 PM

    Bad when someone gets dealt a hand like Jahvid did, but the idea that everyone else should pay is silly.

  19. sportsriffblog says: Jan 28, 2014 4:24 PM

    Take what little left of your pride you have left man, it wasn’t just the concussions that found your butt on the sideline.

  20. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 28, 2014 4:24 PM

    This needs to stop. Make all new players sign that they understand that the game is inherently dangerous and it has obvious consequences to one’s health. No one is forcing them to play the sport or forcing them to sign their million dollar contracts.

  21. dprouse says: Jan 28, 2014 4:25 PM

    I wonder if we will find out which coach told Jahvid that trying to hurdle an opponent was a great idea. Trick question, because NO coach advocates that. In fact, they all caution strongly against it, as the odds of injury are high. Best did it anyway, and landed square on his melon on the way down. That’s not Riddell’s fault – that’s on Jahvid Best.

  22. bigd9484 says: Jan 28, 2014 4:26 PM

    Its like they should make some sort of frivolous lawsuit law so that things like these could be dismissed before they even got to the press. The parties responsible for filing would then have to pay a fee. The guys who played before the late 90’s? Sure, I can see that. Everyone told them to get back in there. Today? No way. These guys know what they are getting into.

  23. the8man says: Jan 28, 2014 4:28 PM

    Another broke, angry fool looking to get paid. I don’t know how this suit has any merit if all his injuries have done is keep him from playing more pro ball.

  24. jgedgar70 says: Jan 28, 2014 4:31 PM

    The main question I have is, what about his situation makes him uniquely qualified for his own lawsuit? Why didn’t he join the other suit when it became obvious after the 2012 season that he was never going to play again?

    On the other hand, I’ve been saying for 10 years that not enough focus is being put on the helmet. Yes, I know of and can see the recent modifications, but they are clearly not enough.

    Here is one area where the NFL can take a cue from NASCAR. When NASCAR lost one of the all-time greatest drivers, they moved quickly and mandated a head & neck restraining system, developed a new retaining wall to disperse energy of a collision, and made modifications to the car itself, all within 2 years. Traumatic and career-ending injuries have decreased dramatically. Why isn’t the NFL able to move that quickly, especially with helmet design?

  25. daddyb1gdrawz says: Jan 28, 2014 4:39 PM

    Didnt he have concussion issues while at California? I am pretty sure I recall the knock on him entering the draft was injuries. I could be wrong though.

  26. nflofficeadmin says: Jan 28, 2014 4:39 PM

    GMA is hiring

  27. cluelessdufus says: Jan 28, 2014 4:40 PM

    Best deserves this, the shots he took through out his career are gonna hurt, but everyone takes them. He just can’t take the hits that others can and understanding that he knows the risks of playing this game,he shouldn’t even consider making a comeback…ever…he is done. Now, regarding that this guy probably has these problems (mentally) its going to be harder to make a living if you can’t function right in the head try to get whatever you can from the thing that destroyed you. Glad to see his is fine and he going back to CAL.

  28. rubenxx7 says: Jan 28, 2014 4:42 PM

    he is nothing but a sissy!

  29. JackedUpSports says: Jan 28, 2014 4:45 PM

    really a shame

  30. berniesmullet says: Jan 28, 2014 4:48 PM

    Suing the NFL? His concussion problems stem from that nasty fall to the turf in college hurdling an opponent (which is illegal in high school for safety reasons). His lawsuit holds no merit. Dude made a couple of mil playing (IR style) in the NFL. Be thankful to the organization that allowed you that opportunity. Lost a little respect for him.

  31. pixelito says: Jan 28, 2014 4:50 PM

    If any the fans posting in this thread got so much as a scratch on their jobs, they would be calling their union reps in a heartbeat…

  32. purplepower2014 says: Jan 28, 2014 4:51 PM

    This is a guy who had a severe concussion in college and continued to play football. So unpredictable he would have more once he entered the NFL. Seems he made a choice knowing the risks. How is the NFL responsible for that?

  33. isphet71 says: Jan 28, 2014 4:53 PM

    If anyone was going to bring a lawsuit like this to the NFL, it was going to be Best. He was singled out/THE poster child for concussions in the NFL.

    We can all agree that the NFL handled his concussion case correctly. Dude got his bell rung very, very badly. He really needed to be done.

    NO ONE ELSE in the NFL has been held to the same conscussion standards before or since that he was held to during his brief career. I’m really trying to imply that the NFL is failing other guys right now with their concussion cases and not holding them to the same standards.

  34. corvusrex96 says: Jan 28, 2014 4:53 PM

    Unless they move to a helmet that also has soft padding on the outside See Don Bebee 1990s no current helmet can keep your brain from slapping up to your skull when it is hit with force

  35. natijim235 says: Jan 28, 2014 4:58 PM

    i’m sueing mcdonalds over spilt hot coffee

  36. sportsfan18 says: Jan 28, 2014 5:00 PM

    Maybe if he played a while ago… but he only recently left the game and he only played a few yrs.

    He KNEW of these issues yet still chose to play.

    It’s like those who smoke trying to sue the tobacco companies…

    Talk about wanting to have their cake and eat it too.

    IF a person makes a CHOICE, they have to be able to live with the consequences.

  37. aldante66 says: Jan 28, 2014 5:02 PM

    Funny but I distinctly remember when he was drafted ab analyst pointing out that Best was available to the Lions later on because of his stature and all the injuries he had in college.

    This guy is going to have a tough road to prove if those injuries were concussions in college. Then he was the one who went on to more of them not the NFL.

    He was just a smallish guy who couldn’t take the NFL beating.

  38. aldante66 says: Jan 28, 2014 5:03 PM

    I take it his money from football finally ran out.

  39. christophershearin says: Jan 28, 2014 5:05 PM

    if the NFL was aware of head injuries suffered by players, shouldnt best have been aware as well, considering he suffered a concussion at Cal, BEFORE he entered the NFL? at what point does personal responsibility not factor into these kinds of things?

  40. chalkruz1989 says: Jan 28, 2014 5:07 PM

    I do feel sad for some of the retired players like Kevin Turner, Junior Seau and Dave Duerson.

    For Jahvid Best, I do not. I don’t need to read a warning label to know it’s not smart to plug in a toaster and place it in the tub, I don’t need to be told it’s not wise to walk in front of a moving train.

    Best fizzled out because of head injuries. There’s no reason to sue, you knew what you signed up for.

  41. hanklee1989 says: Jan 28, 2014 5:08 PM

    You choose to play football, just like you choose to eat fast food and become obese with diabetes. These guys have no problem going to the bank and cashing the checks knowing the risk going in, yet once the gravy train and multiple mansion lifestyle is finished they demand to get paid for their lack of longterm financial planning.

    If he says the NFL knew about them, then certainly he was aware of the risk when he took the field.

  42. realitycheckbaby says: Jan 28, 2014 5:16 PM

    The should wrap the outside of the helmets with about 8 inches of bubble wrap.

    No more problem.

  43. fdugrad says: Jan 28, 2014 5:20 PM

    WAIT…He has “a role coaching at UC?!” Isn’t his new vocation juxtaposed next to his suit due to concussions a bit of an impediment to his performance in this role? How in bleep does he inspire his charges to “Crash the Line?” and “Blast Through the Hole, or Make One?” Does he tell his backs to be judicious and cognizant of head injuries when their number is called? Clearly, if he intends to be a coach of ANY sort, he can’t have it both ways. I imagine the AD at UC will be having a conversation with JB fairly soon, given the fact that his concussion problems surely were exacerbated while he was playing for his CURRENT employer!

  44. FinFan68 says: Jan 28, 2014 5:21 PM

    Should not win. He was told to quit football because of a concussion while still in college. He chose to go to the NFL after the information was common knowledge.

  45. uwsptke says: Jan 28, 2014 5:25 PM

    This guy needs his head examined, amirite?

    But seriously, he does need his head examined.

  46. seaeagle707 says: Jan 28, 2014 5:29 PM

    “I didn’t make the big millions I wanted to while I was playing, so now I’ll cash in by making you crackers PAY,…..and pay,…..and pay.”

  47. ratsfoiledagain says: Jan 28, 2014 5:32 PM

    The NFL will probably investigate whether they should have have college players sign wavers, as a condition of employment, stating you cannot sue them for concussion related injuries if you suffered a medically confirmed concussion in college.

    Once you receive a concussion, it’s easy to get another, and another, and so on.

    The NFL’s argument will be you cannot prove the concussion received in college is not the reason for your medical issues, not the one you received in the NFL, if you did have one in the NFL.

    The NFL ‘might’ look different in 10 years.

    Depending on which side of the line you’re on, it’s all about getting, or protecting, the money.

  48. iceburgskin202 says: Jan 28, 2014 5:44 PM

    So why isn’t he going after Cal and the NCAA?

  49. hauts81 says: Jan 28, 2014 5:49 PM

    What did he expect? For Roger Goodell to be there with a nice soft pillow to break his fall each of the THREE times he suffered concussions?

  50. jwcarlson says: Jan 28, 2014 5:50 PM

    Give me the kind of money this guys make, an NFL helmet, and I’ll take a few baseball bats to the dome once a week 16-20 times a year. And even if it messed me up, it would set up my wife, kids, and even my extended family and grandchildren for life.

  51. ravenswhat says: Jan 28, 2014 5:53 PM

    Get dat paper son!!

  52. motown81 says: Jan 28, 2014 5:56 PM

    In the Country that loves to blame everyone else for their problems why not? Do what everyone else does and blame someone else, hire an attorney, and try to extort money out of the deepest pockets. It is the American way! Way to go Jahvid, you fit in perfectly.

  53. edavidberg says: Jan 28, 2014 6:00 PM

    This is a frivolous suit. He can’t play football in large part because of his massive concussion from college. He has absolutely no ability to claim the NFL is at fault for not chaning the rules of their game to two hand touch so he can play football for them. The whole suit is misguided.

    I have a lot more sympathy for players who were caught up in a culture of playing through concussions and were not properly warned of the substantial risks that multiple concussions posed.

  54. sportnorcal says: Jan 28, 2014 6:08 PM

    So he is so disenchanted with the game of football and a concern for concussions that he now works as a college coach. Of football.

    GO AWAY and get a real job. You had a scholarship at UC Berkeley, maybe you should have attended class and received your degree?

  55. monkeesfan says: Jan 28, 2014 6:09 PM

    Just what were the NFL and Riddell supposed to do anyway? The concussion is is NOT one about hitting – it’s about letting players recover. Jahvid Best’s career flamed out for reasons unrelated to concussions.

  56. mdpgc says: Jan 28, 2014 6:15 PM

    This is the same guy who also was getting concussions in college….so who does he blame that one on….its not Cal U

  57. briang123 says: Jan 28, 2014 6:22 PM

    Disenchanted just as the big checks stopped coming. What a shock! All he has to do now is hope no one notices all the concussions he had at Cal.

  58. jake6879 says: Jan 28, 2014 6:35 PM

    As someone who’s life was changed after a concussion from a helmet to helmet hit, some of you guys need to back down. You play this game prepared to be injured at some point but there is some evidence that the NFL has favored Riddell and allowed teams to refuse to allow players to use helmets that may provide better protection from concussions. In the early 90’s, several players wore a helmet from ProCap that had a soft shell. The few players that I know of that wore them played a long time after starting to wear them even after already becoming concussion prone. Why the NFL or Riddell has fought the use of them is beyond me. I would say there is a case to be made that the league and Riddell may be found negligent. It’s one thing to get an injury in spite of wearing the best available protection; it’s another to get hurt knowing better protection may have been available. I’m not saying that’s this case with Best but if he’s suing them both, I’d say that has to be at least one issue.

  59. ktenn88 says: Jan 28, 2014 6:51 PM

    Well then…I’m suing Playboy because their magazine gave me a woody.

  60. macbull says: Jan 28, 2014 6:58 PM

    He should sue the NFL for not making the ProCap an option of the players to wear.

    NFL used to allow the ProCap and all it did was extend the careers of players who had endured multiple concussions and their careers were threatened.


  61. taintedlombardis says: Jan 28, 2014 7:11 PM

    I hope he gets a windfall settlement. The NFL hasn’t done enough.

  62. taintedlombardis says: Jan 28, 2014 7:12 PM

    This thread is a wonderful illustration of just how dumb a man of average intelligence is.

  63. maximusprime107 says: Jan 28, 2014 7:33 PM

    There goes the respect people had for him and saying he got a tough break

  64. vincelombardisghost says: Jan 28, 2014 7:55 PM

    You can get a concussion from banging heads playing football? Who knew? What a shock!!

  65. grandsonofcoach says: Jan 28, 2014 7:59 PM

    Yet it’s okay in his mind to coach college kids so the can get concussions. Maybe one of them will someday sue him

  66. obamareallysucks says: Jan 28, 2014 8:07 PM

    Another low IQ Obama supporter looking for free money

  67. taintedlombardis says: Jan 28, 2014 8:22 PM

    LOL. Low IQ above.

  68. strikingviper says: Jan 28, 2014 9:14 PM

    As much as I feel bad for those guys, they need to stop puting the blame to the “moneymaker”. That’s so hypocrite. If you’re sueing the NFL, then you need to sue your college, high school…even your parents for letting you play football.

    Reminds me of the stories about sueing McDonald because the guy blamed them from being fat when he was eating there like 4-5 days a week…

  69. majormeatcurtains says: Jan 28, 2014 9:33 PM

    Translation: I blew all my money on ho’s and bro’s so gimme mo. Idiot. Case dismissed.

  70. drew8501 says: Jan 28, 2014 11:00 PM

    Best must have forgotten about his nasty concussion vs Oregon State Nov 7-09.. He was wearing a Schutt Air Advantage

  71. riverhorsey says: Jan 28, 2014 11:14 PM

    obamareallysucks says: Jan 28, 2014 8:07 PM

    Another low IQ Obama supporter looking for free money

    You must be talking about republicans. They are the only ones who would sell the country down the river like the next great depression.

    Thanks for nothing scumbag.

  72. riverhorsey says: Jan 28, 2014 11:28 PM


    One other thing dude. Ever see you on the street and you will get some sense fast.

  73. uberniner says: Jan 29, 2014 12:46 AM

    I thought I read about a special helmet that one of the slot receivers was wearing. Welker? It was big and ugly, but it was supposed to lower the probability of concussions. Maybe all the players should be wearing that.

    Anyone know about that?

  74. donschmidt72 says: Jan 29, 2014 1:49 AM

    Everyone knows that playing football can and probably will result in an injury mainly broken bones, groin injuries, knee injuries and concussions. Any lawsuit should be thrown out of court. Player assumes risk of injury before even playing.

  75. ghostofspeedyduncan says: Jan 29, 2014 6:26 AM

    Better call Saul !!!

  76. edgarh21 says: Jan 29, 2014 10:48 AM

    It is all his fault, no one told him to go diving into the end zone that ended up in him getting flipped and landing on his head. Coaches don’t teach that, he wanted to be on ESPN. Live to fight another play

  77. Frum Slum says: Jan 29, 2014 12:05 PM

    Stop it Jahvid. Just stop it.

  78. sabatimus says: Jan 29, 2014 2:08 PM

    He’s just trying to get paid. Suing the NFL is all the rage these days, so why not try it? After all, football is completely safe and he must’ve had no idea whatsoever that you can get concussed playing it.

  79. honalulublue says: Jan 29, 2014 4:29 PM

    It’s disappointing that Best would take this route seeing how the Lions organization took every conceivable measure to to get him right. After that big head injury to end his college career he certainly knew the dangers of taking on an NFL career.

    It’s also doubtful that Riddell or any other headgear manufacture makes any claim that their products prevents head injury. Most likely they claim to reduce the risk of…

    Sorry Jahvid, I wish you’d walk away from this one and be thankful for your experience and foundation for your coaching career.

  80. JHathwell says: Jan 30, 2014 8:31 PM

    Some of you need to watch Brant Gumbel’s speech about the folly of siding with Billionaires over millionaires, some of you need to read up a little on what the NFL did and didn’t do that put the league in the situation they are in now, and some of you just plain need to get some sense.

    I know the comment section of almost every website on earth is literally the world’s proverbial toilet, but it’s still terribly depressing.

  81. blackngold4life says: Jan 30, 2014 9:05 PM

    He’ll try a comeback in a year or 2 Ala Pat White..NFL needs a medical clause in contracts. And should have had one atleast 15-20 years ago..If a player files he’s done in the NFL and another making the League exempt from concussion lawsuits..what player hasn’t had one? So can everybody Sue?

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