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For Welker and other players, how many concussions are too many?

Welker AP

The NFL’s concussion protocol contains very clear steps for ensuring that a player has fully healed from a given brain injury. But the league has yet to develop a standard for determining whether a given player has had too many brain injuries.

As the five-year anniversary of the NFL’s unprecedented sensitivity to concussions approaches in October, some veteran players inevitably will confront the question of whether they have had so many that they should not risk another.

For Welker, it’s a possibility that the latest concussion will be his last one. But it’s too early to have that conversation. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, possible cutting-edge technologies will be used to determine the real damage to Welker’s brain and the prospects for future harm.

Regardless, Welker would be wise to tabulate his assets, examine his investments, and decide whether he’s got enough after taxes and a decade of whatever he has spent while playing in the NFL to make it for another 60 years or more without a football salary.

Otherwise, he may not have to worry about having enough money to cover him for another 60 years or more.

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23 Responses to “For Welker and other players, how many concussions are too many?”
  1. kc571 says: Aug 25, 2014 11:27 AM

    After a few concussions, players should have to waive their right to sue the league after they retire. If Welker keeps playing, you can surely add him to the next round of class action suits against the NFT in a few years.

  2. nfloracle says: Aug 25, 2014 11:28 AM

    Welker seems like a sharp guy, so hopefully he has plenty of money squirreled away for the future. I hope he has the sense to retire after this latest concussion. Trying to remember where I put my car keys is hard enough there days in my 60’s, and I’ve never had a concussion. I hate to think of how tough life would be knowing that my mental facilities could go totally AWOL at any time. Welker’s been great fun to watch over the years, and I’d love to watch him another season, but I’d feel better if he’d retire before injuring his brain to a point where it’s going to be very bad news for him and his family down the line.

  3. haraldsigurdson says: Aug 25, 2014 11:28 AM

    Well, the sad truth is that there are a lot of working-class people, whether they were miners, or worked in a machine shop with asbestos everywhere, or even CNAs who are destroying their backs lifting patients all day long, and they are mortgaging their futures for a heck of a lot less money than Welker or anyone else in the NFL.

  4. dubblelznhell says: Aug 25, 2014 11:29 AM

    So you think Wes Welker is gonna live until he’s 93?

  5. haraldsigurdson says: Aug 25, 2014 11:31 AM

    So boo-hoo he’s a grown man who got to play a game for a living and made tens of millions of dollars doing it. The only thing is whether he was ever made aware that he was making that trade-off. But, assuming he knew that repeated blows to the head are going to be bad for you, then I don’t feel sorry for NFL players.

  6. sixchr says: Aug 25, 2014 11:34 AM

    Welker should have called it quits after last season. It’s just not worth it anymore. We all know he’s been doing this for years, it’s time to hang it up.

  7. thetruthcampaign says: Aug 25, 2014 11:36 AM

    From the players’ perspectives, too many are the ones we know about. The ones we do know about are the tip of the iceberg.

  8. h3min1230 says: Aug 25, 2014 11:40 AM

    All Welker is good for is to enertain me for a couple hours out of the week.

    You people need some perspective in your pathetic lives.

  9. danind says: Aug 25, 2014 11:44 AM

    to echo what another commentor said, I totally agree, he should have to waive any ability to sue the NFL to continue playing. that should be leaguewide. after your Xth concussion, retire or sign the dotted line. guy is probably going to keep playing and continue to turn his brain into mashed potatoes and when he starts losing his abilities in 10 years there will be articles sympathetic to him and that the league is responsible.

    if he keeps playing it really takes the merit out of the lawsuit filed by former players and shows that even if they did know (which they most likely did) that concussions were bad, they still would have keep playing just like the current guys. give them nothing.

  10. h3min1230 says: Aug 25, 2014 11:46 AM

    All Welker is good for is to enertain me for a couple hours out of the week.

    You people need some perspective in your pathetic lives.

  11. yesrowntreeyesgrosvener says: Aug 25, 2014 11:48 AM

    One concussion is too many, bit I completely understand why guys risk their long-term health. There’s just so much more money on the table than they’re likely to see again. I’d support a program that required a player to sign an agreement that shields the league from future liability if they continue playing and acknowledge that they are fully aware of the risks. It shouldn’t be the league’s job to save players from themselves.

  12. kd75 says: Aug 25, 2014 11:51 AM

    He seems to be pretty good at betting on the ponies…

  13. touchdownroddywhite says: Aug 25, 2014 11:59 AM

    There’s no way he hangs up the cleats this close to the season starting. Maybe after the year, but not now. His salary is about to become fully guaranteed for the year. Why not risk one more concussion?

  14. doe22us says: Aug 25, 2014 12:01 PM

    Is football Entertainment? yes, compassion of course one needs to show, pathetic life now hold on, we are not talking about you right?

  15. mannyiac says: Aug 25, 2014 12:13 PM

    It’s time to retire when you start getting multiple concussions.Money isn’t as important as your health in the long run.

  16. nflviewer says: Aug 25, 2014 12:18 PM

    Based on the extremely limited information I have on Welker’s health, I would retire if I was him. What I know is that this is his third concussion in less than 10 months. I played college ball, and even back in the dark ages when I played, the school policy was that the team physician would rule you out permanently if you had already had 3 concussions (it was a good idea, but in practice it was mostly ignored).

    Maybe Welker has detailed neurological examinations that show his risk is at an acceptable level for him. I have no idea if that is the case and no one posting here knows either. All we know is the basic news we read or hear from here or other news sources.

    Steve Young retired due to concussions, and it seems like that was a good thing. He seems in good shape today (I don’t know if he has bad headaches and problems concentrating, but he doesn’t seem to have several dementia or neuro-muscular problems). Muhammad Ali is unfortunately a good example of an athlete who probably suffered serious health problems by sticking around too long. He probably should have stopped fighting after the Thrilla in Manilla and not fought several more times over the next 6 years.

    Welker has had a great NFL career. He should be very proud of what he has achieved. He’s earned enough money that he should be able to retire and never have to work again for the rest of his life while enjoying what is hopefully a long and healthy life.

  17. misterautomatic says: Aug 25, 2014 1:07 PM

    He’ll still play in more games than Percy Harvin this year.

    #BOOKIT

  18. eoyguy says: Aug 25, 2014 1:10 PM

    Considering the average American will make in their entire working lives less than what he makes in one season, I should hope he can “make do”. If not, I’m sure the second he announces, one of the talking head pre-pregame, pre-game, in-game or post game shows will sign him on for a measly couple hundred thou a year. I mean, if Shannon Sharpe, whose mastery of the English language was questionable at best, can do it, this guy would be the next Merril Hoge!

  19. 34defense2014 says: Aug 25, 2014 1:13 PM

    haraldsigurdson… Very well said!! My Mom was a CNA for almost thirty years! Granted she and myself work for Civil Service Nursing Home so we always had enough staff unlike the Private Sector where it’s one AID to care for 5 Patience! Well said!!

  20. harrisonhits2 says: Aug 25, 2014 1:35 PM

    They shouldn’t be forced to retire, but as others have said, after suffering a certain number of concussions they should have to sign a waiver releasing the league of responsibility for further concussion effects.

  21. rajbais says: Aug 25, 2014 2:13 PM

    Too many is when you can’t function well at the end of the season or can’t be active more often on game day.

    Welker’s likely absence will make Peyton’s goal of beating his own TD pass record 100% unlikely for it to happen.

    Not just that Peyton Manning also has had no back-to-back seasons with at least one playoff victory since 2003-04. Ever since 2005 he has had one season with at least one playoff win followed by at least one season with no playoff wins.

  22. j0esixpack says: Aug 25, 2014 2:24 PM

    Anyone see how many hard hits Welker took as a Patriot? Chances are he’s in the double digits.

    I’ll give him credit – he plays balls out – but aside from not winning a SB he’s got nothing left to prove – one of the toughest players ever. But time to walk away.

  23. mtrhead269 says: Aug 25, 2014 9:33 PM

    Wes you have a really good career, maybe the best slot receiver of all time, three concussions in less than 12 months. Well you done playing football for a living, you can leave on your own or keep playing have another really serious one then leave with a lifetime of issues following you.

    Just call it a career go home to your wife and kids and enjoy the horse racing

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