Gronkowski: I didn’t suffer a concussion, wouldn’t admit it if I did


Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski offered an interesting glimpse into the attitude of NFL players late on Monday night, laughing off a question about whether he had suffered a head injury and saying that he would lie about having a concussion if that’s what he had to do to keep playing.

Gronkowski went down head-first as he got into the end zone on his second touchdown Monday night against the Chiefs, landing awkwardly and looking a little shaky as he got up. Gronkowski joined the ESPN set after the game and was asked if he was dazed by his head hitting the ground, or if he could even remember it.

“I remember the moment and everything,” Gronkowski said, via Larry Brown Sports. “If I didn’t I still wouldn’t even say I didn’t. I’m trying to play this week.”

The ESPN panel of Stuart Scott, Trent Dilfer and Steve Young laughed off Gronkowski’s comments, but even if he was joking, it’s a serious issue the NFL has: Players know they won’t be allowed to play if they have concussion symptoms, and so players will mislead team medical staffs if that’s what they have to do to play.

NFL players including Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning have said that misleading the doctors is something they’d do if necessary to get onto the field. As the NFL tries to protect players from concussions, they’re protecting some players who are trying to avoid that protection.

54 responses to “Gronkowski: I didn’t suffer a concussion, wouldn’t admit it if I did

  1. Gronk, you’re so dumb nobody would even realize you had a concussion.

    And by the way, what’s being set up here is regular season domination of the Jets by New England and then the Jets, with the 6th seed, beating New England at home in the playoffs AGAIN.

  2. I’m no doctor, but if a medical staff can’t pick up on whether or not a player is suffering concussion symptoms without that player being 100% honest.. They aren’t a very good medical staff.

  3. These are the same players that want compensation for all of the injuries they sustain throughout their careers that they claim ruin the rest of their lives after football. So they claim we should adjust the revenue of the NFL to tend to their physical ailments throughout their lives. Makes sense, right?

  4. I think the major issue here is teams employing their own medical staffs who should and probably do have the players best intentions in mind.

    However, if a trainer makes a decision during a game that Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, Darrell Revis, etc are likely suffering concussion symptoms and they aren’t, and a team loses a game – the medical staff/trainer could face unemployment. If this happens 2, 3, 4 times they won’t be around. So if a player is minimizing or not being truthful, there’s no benefit to the medical staff to “go with their gut” or bench said player for the day for further evaluation.

  5. He says the same thing all players feel. This is why it’s laughable that all of the players who aren’t in the NFL anymore, sue the league various concussion and head-related injuries.

  6. This concussion issue is getting ridiculous. The convoluted rules that are being enforced with no consistency, players refusing to change the way they play the game, and coaches who don’t know how to teach the game under the new rules. Not to mention, a system of fines that seems to have the consistency of a game of pin the tail on the donkey. Why don’t we just call it a “job specific hazard”? I am going to go out on a limb and say that 90% of NFL players have the same attitude as Gronkowski. So why does anyone else really care anyway?

  7. It’s not just about playing that next game, it’s about not losing your job. Get a reputation for getting concussed and you won’t have a career, either. Brian Westbrook is case in point.

    Also, this site sends the same mixed messages that the league does. For every “oh, the players don’t want protection why oh why would they lie” article you run, you run two more talking about how soandso just can’t stay healthy like it’s a personal fault that someone got a concussion in the first place. Pick a side.

  8. .

    ESPN showed Gronkowski with several members of the Patriots sideline staff immediately following his hard landing.

    One member repeatedly engaged Gronkowski in conversation and then laughed. I find it implausible to believe a member of any team’s staff would find a concussion humorous.


  9. Not speaking of which, match the commonly used description with the actual defense through ten games:
    “Super Bowl caliber defense”
    “Worst defense in the league”
    Jets – 217 points allowed
    Patriots – 203 points allowed

  10. Players are always going to try and get back on the field. How many guys do you think “mess up” their baseline tests so if they take a big hit they don’t show any defecits on their sideline tests.

    If the NFL is truly concerned with player safety:
    1. How come mouthguards aren’t mandatory- they are know to reduce concussions
    2. How come knee pads aren’t mandatory- lots of concussions happen taking a knee to the head
    3. How come there is only one helmet mfg. allowed in the NFL. The NFL is too worried about their licensing fee’s. The military has helmets which can stop a bullet, what are the chances there are co’s which can make a better football helmet?

  11. Were talking about Gronkowski here not Michael Vick, Beanie Wells, Peyton Hillis,Todd Heap, Javid Best,Julio Jones,Miles Austin and the rest of the weekly reliable injury list slackers

  12. The field crew should get out there and check the end zone – it may need some work!
    Gronk, I don’t care what they say about you – you’re beautiful. Spike it hard but not with you head!

  13. Re-watched “Any Given Sunday” the other day and the portrayal of how players injuries are treated from both sides and ownership is prob closer to truth than people want to believe…still Gronk was being Gronk…just glad he”s ok, it looked bad!

  14. I’m not sure if this is intense competitiveness or idiocy. We also know majority of players would do same to get back to games. The bottom line is, if a patient/player hides symptoms there is very small thing the doctors could do on sideline. You can’t do anything abt it but “admire” our players IQ.

  15. deanvernonwormer says: Nov 22, 2011 7:17 AM

    Gronk, you’re so dumb nobody would even realize you had a concussion.

    And by the way, what’s being set up here is regular season domination of the Jets by New England and then the Jets, with the 6th seed, beating New England at home in the playoffs AGAIN.
    Looks like we have a sour Jets fan here. Btw, before you talk trash about what the Jets will do to the Pats in the playoffs, you should probably focus on hoping the Jets make the playoffs. It’s far from a sure thing. Right now there are two teams from the AFC North that have an advantage over the Jets when it comes to wild card spots, and that’s not counting the division leader.

  16. Quite a few players share this same mindset, I believe it was last year, when hines ward was on an active streak for the most consecutives receptions in a game, when he got lit up. It was obvious to everyone in the stadium he got a concussion and u could see the steelers training staff arguing with him because he wanted to go back in

  17. It’s unfortunate that some players are willing to deceive trainers/doctors about having a possible concussion. But these are grown men who are aware of the possible long term health risks…and there’s only so much the NFL can do to protect these players from themselves. I don’t want to hear any of these guys pissing and moaning 10 years from now about how horrible they feel.

  18. Lets face reality here. First, athletes in general and football players in particular and taught to shake it off and get back out there. Second, most players in the NFL are not irreplacable. There is always someone willing to do their job cheaper, and their careers are relativly short anyway. If they come out , they may never get back in. Ever hear of a guy named Wally Pipp?

  19. I don’t think Gronk has a concussion as he was laughing with the medical staff on the sideline after the play, but even as a Pats fan, I’m sick of hearing players whine about head-related injuries after their careers are over – yet they do and say stuff like this while they are playing.

  20. Great player. Every fan wants a guy like this on their team.

    However, listening to him… I think it would be hard to assess a concussion since his baseline IQ is probably not too high to start with.

  21. The ESPN shot was of the medical staff and they were more worried about his neck. He was fine. Everyone is getting too sensitive about this stuff. Anyone who has played football long enough has probably had their bell rung.

  22. all these ppl hating on talent.. hows ur tight end doing this season?
    exactly, not better than GRONK

  23. deanvernonwormer says:
    what’s being set up here is regular season domination of the Jets by New England and then the Jets, with the 6th seed, beating New England at home in the playoffs AGAIN.
    You YET’s fans don’t understand this is why the rest of the NFL loves to see you get punked.

    They’re 5-5, facing the Eagles, the upswing Dolphins, and the 6-4 Giants in the last six weeks. As it stands today, there’s already the Steelers and Bengals ahead of them, and three other 5-5 teams to fight against.

    There isn’t going to BE a wildcard seed for you this year, Spanky.

  24. JakeDSnake says:

    Jets – 217 points allowed
    Patriots – 203 points allowed

    Best defense in the league?

    “Suck my d!@k” indeed!

  25. Manadatory CT scans for every player involved in a collision is necessary! Expand rosters to 150 players, so that there is time for every player to get scanned after each hit. It’s the only fool proof way to prevent players from playing with concussions, and it is the moral and ethical duty of the NFL to do this!

    Although this policy will result in cancer for 90% of NFL players by the age of 40, smart money is on a cure by then.

    It’s an easy decision Goddell!!

  26. On to more important issues…

    As a community, can we please don Rob Gronkowski the nickname “The Beast”? Cause the man is a beast.

  27. I’m not sure how this can be addressed. I actually think tightening the rules on concussion testing and reporting might make the problem worse. If players think they have to go to the locker room after a SUSPECTED concussion, they are more likely to utterly lie. The only thing I can see doing is have a mandatory sit-out period after a diagnosed concussion, regardless of the testing (say 1-2 weeks for for the first concussion, 4 for the second, and the rest of the season if a third). Also, perhaps there could be some kind of positive incentive for players reporting concussions. I don’t know exactly what that would be, though.

  28. The most AWESOME thing about this is that after the game some wiseacre reporter asked Brady about it, saying “They took Gronkowski over on the sides and asked him to count to 10 as a part of his test. Is that something he can do normally?” Brady said something like, “He’s no math major but he holds his own.” It was hilarious. We Pats fans love us some Gronk, but know he’s no Rhodes Scholar candidate like one of his brothers was.

  29. As someone that has dealt with head injuries, there are obvious signs that someone has suffered one. There is no way to fake it because your brain is your central processor for your whole body. If there is any defects or injuries to the brain, the information flow to the body will be disrupted and some sort of physical sign will be available.

  30. Wonder if the league will fine Gronk $7,500 for spiking his head in the endzone in the vicinity of an opposing player?

    This kid is “scary good”!

  31. The Patriots are 10th in the League for points allowed.

    Gronkowski said he just had the wind knocked out of him, and I tend to believe that. I thought that, while his neck and head bent, he first came down mostly on his shoulders, and his upper body bent. That is one classic way of getting the wind knocked out of you.

  32. This obsession with concussions is getting ridiculous. It’s a pure PR move by Goodell to mislead the media into believing he’s “concerned about player safety.” Another question, who is clamoring for new rules on concussions? It sure isn’t the fans or the players. I’ll tell you who — it’s the do-gooders in the media who don’t like football in the first place and think it’s a brutal sport. Memo to the Goodell: worry about your fans, not the media. Injuries are going to occur in football, it’s the nature of the game, and there’s nothing that can be done about it.

  33. deanvernonwormer says:

    And by the way, what’s being set up here is regular season domination of the Jets by New England and then the Jets, with the 6th seed, beating New England at home in the playoffs AGAIN.
    Again? Once in 40 years isn’t exactly a regular occurrence.

    The Jets won’t be in the playoffs this year. Their defense is very over rated and their quarterback is .. well, Mark Sanchez.

    Two straight years of losing an AFC Championship game is the Jets version of a dynasty. Right up there with the preseason Super Bowl Championships.

  34. Gronk is one of my favourite players. The guy is a monster. But, when he says things like that, I could honestly care less about him or his health. He sure doesn’t. Don’t worry about your family, or whether you one day want to remember your kids/grandkids names. It’s cool. You’re young and hot now right? Go get another picture taken with a porn star, idiot.

  35. That awkward twisting head first landing looked horrendous! The Pats are playing a bunch of patsies for the rest of the regular season – he should take one week off and get thorough tests for safety’s sake.

  36. NO – what IS ridiculous is these catches that they call not catches because eventually after it is obviously a catch the ball, still in hand, touches the ground – another one negated a touchdown in another game this week!

  37. The man kneeling in front of him at the bench area following the play was the team’s MD. Gronk called out the RATS(jets) for aiming at the Pats knees. This was commented only by fans and not the team after their game. The pay back for cheap play by the RATS will come in the future. The Pats never forget.

  38. Let’s see what happens once he can’t play anymore. Bet that both the Pats and their fan base will barely remember who he was. Of course, he won’t remember who they are either.

  39. I have no problem with players saying this. It’s their life. The team has to step in and protect them. I just don’t want to see their name attached to a lawsuit 20 years after they retire. The league should keep track of the players who say something like this in order to cover their asses in case more lawsuits follow in later years.

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