Browns’ team doctor tells rookies not to hide concussions


NFL rookies heard from Michael Vick and Pacman Jones at the rookie symposium on Monday, with those two veterans of the NFL — and the judicial system — telling this year’s draft picks how to stay out of trouble off the field. And the rookies also heard from a doctor who told them what to do when they find themselves hurting on the field.

Dr. Mark Schickendantz, the head physician for the Cleveland Browns, told rookies that concealing head injuries and concussions is a major problem in the NFL, and that the players need to take it upon themselves to alert team doctors when they’re feeling symptoms.

Don’t try to hide it,” Schickendantz said. “A little ding is not just a little ding.”

Schickendantz seems like a strange choice for the NFL to present as an expert on concussions because last season’s most infamous undiagnosed concussion happened on his watch. Browns quarterback Colt McCoy took a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit from Steelers linebacker James Harrison, suffered a concussion, and was cleared to go back into the game anyway. Browns President Mike Holmgren said afterward that Schickendantz checked McCoy out and “was looking at his face and his eyes” and didn’t think McCoy had suffered a concussion.

At the rookie symposium, Shickendantz said the league cares about the players’ well-being.

“Our only agenda is your health and safety,” he said. “It’s about you, not about us.”

The reality is it’s about everyone. It’s true that players sometimes avoid getting checked out by team doctors because they don’t want to be removed from games, and it’s true that’s a very bad idea. But it’s also true that sometimes players are mistakenly cleared to return to games even when they have been checked out by team doctors, and that’s a bad mistake.

20 responses to “Browns’ team doctor tells rookies not to hide concussions

  1. The Browns should start 37 year old RA Dickey, thats right they already are…Weeden

  2. I agree, it’s important that they’re healthy for when the Browns are competitive in 2025.

  3. Perhaps I’ve just missed this along the way, but what is the uproar with concussion in Football about, and why is there not equal/greater concern for other sports where concussions are even more common like Boxing or MMA?

    Is the problem just that players feel the NFL forced them to play injured by not recognizing the injury fast enough? That kind of seems like a lofty expectation, and a bit unrealistic in many other sports. A professional fighter could suffer a concussion on any number of hits during the course of a fight, and a lot of fights don’t end until someone gets KO’d – often from a concussion.

    Perhaps I’m just missing something, but the conclusion I draw is that if you participate in any activity where you get hit in the head hard repeatedly you should accept the potential injuries that come with the territory, and you know that when you sign up.

  4. Shickendantz went on to add…

    Bocka bocka bocka bock
    Bocka bocka bocka bock
    Bocka bocka bocka bock

  5. At the rookie symposium, Shickendantz said the league cares about the players’ well-being.

    “Our only agenda is your health and safety,” he said. “It’s about you, not about us.”

    Shickendantz has jokes! I suppose a sense of humor is necessary with a name like that..

  6. (Scene from the Browns-Steelers game):
    Schickendantz: “Hey, Colt … that was some tough hit. Do you know who I am?”

    McCoy: “Yeah, you’re Doc. Hi, Doc!”

    Schickendantz: “Hi! And do you know who you are?”

    McCoy: “Yeah. I’m Batman!”

    Schickendantz: “Uh … yeah, coach. He seems just fine to me! Let’s put him back in!!”

  7. Maybe the NFL chose the Browns’ doctor because the Rookie Symposium is being held in a Cleveland suburb?

    Just a wild guess…

  8. Maybe he thought Colt looked just as retarded as before the hit?

    I always thought Tebow got away with a couple concussions based on that same fact.

  9. There hasn’t been a staph infection at the Browns facility for years, but it’s great that seems to be what everyone remembers. As a Browns fan, I’m a little tired of it. Why is it that seems to be the thing everyone remembers when the Browns should be remembered for:

    Alienating the fans
    Alienating the players who defined the team
    Drafting people WAAAAAAY too high
    Not signing a free agent worth a dam* then wondering why they continue to suck
    Finally having a player that fans want to watch, then letting him go in FA without making a reasonable offer
    Having 20 starting QB’s since coming back to the league

    I could keep going, but you get the point. Just like the show LOST, the staph problem was only relevant for a couple years then it became a joke.

  10. I’m a Browns fan and that’s exactly what Browns fans should remember. Not just everyone else. Time for change of ownership. Randy Lerner is a bum and apparently so is the doctor he hired

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