Latest Jason Smith concussion highlights importance of possible practice changes

As the NFL continues to come up with ways to avoid the consequences of concussions by preventing them from happening, the absence of Rams tackle Jason Smith (the second overall pick in the 2009 draft) from today’s game against the Panthers highlights that the challenge entails more than killing the kill shots.

According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Smith suffered a concussion when he banged helmets with defensive end Chris Long (the second overall pick in the 2008 draft) during practice on Thursday. 

Plenty of concussions are caused by the hat-banging that happens in the trenches.  But because none of the hits induce “oohs” and/or “aahs,” few ever notice them.  Though largely unavoidable during games (absent the abandonment of the three-point stance), the NFL needs to come up with ways to reduce helmet impacts during practice.

Smith missed multiple games last year with a concussion, which could mean that at some point the question of whether he simply has had too many — or gets them too easily — needs to be explored.  And that brings us back to a concern that first arose last year at this time, when the league began to hold players who have had concussions out of games. 

Eventually, players who have suffered too many concussions will be viewed as unreliable, which will get them run out of the sport sooner than they ever would have wanted to leave, even if they were fully aware of the risks and willing to assume them.

6 responses to “Latest Jason Smith concussion highlights importance of possible practice changes

  1. They are already looking at getting rid of the three point stance. The NFL will not rest until they have removed everything great about football from the professional game. Let’s not play the game anymore and instead send the players to different venues to sign crap and sell gear…nobod could get hurt that way. The game has been around a while and it has always been violent and players have gotten hurt…it is part of the game. The only reason it is getting attention now is it is marketing. The “safety of the players” is merely the PC way of implementing ridiculous rules to alter the game into a fantasy friendly offensive game. Who could argue the opposite at the expense of “jeopardizing the health and safety of the players” without looking bad? It is a sham and they know it. How about developing better helmets…or getting rid of them altogether? The NFL marketing is quickly destroying everything that has made the NFL the most popular sport in the U.S.

  2. The biggest issue here that hasn’t been discussed is the safety of the helmets. I believe that this might be the biggest issue.
    I think the structure and composition of the helmets need to change. Instead of having a hard plastic impact accelerator, helmets should have softer outer shells to act as more of a “crush zone” for impact. In the long run, helmets might end up being a little bit bigger, but with a multi-point gel-based interior padding, a harder impact layer outside of that, and an outer crush zone, I think helmet safety would be far better. Also, instead of having the steel or heavy duty facemasks, the face masks could be more of a bendable plexi-glass face shield.
    The time is now to revamp and redesign helmets.

  3. Florio your killing me…stick to rumors and keep your opinions to yourself. You got where your at with rumors…not opinions! Don’t forget that.

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