James Jones: I don’t need the NFL to protect my head

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The NFL is taking increasing steps to protect receivers from hits to the head, but Packers receiver James Jones says he’d rather do without.

Jones said on NFL Network that if he had the power to change one thing about the league, it would be the elimination of the rule against helmet-to-helmet hits on receivers.

“I think the helmet-to-helmet rule, where defenders have to hit at a certain target, I think they need to eliminate that,” Jones said. “I’d rather get hit in the hlemet and shoulder than have a defender take my knees out.”

Asked if he thinks he needs protection, Jones answered, “That’s what my helmet is for.”

In Jones’s opinion, part of being a good defensive back is the ability to make opposing receivers fear going over the middle. Jones admitted that he feels that fear sometimes, but he said it’s unfair to the players in the secondary to change the rules to eliminate that fear.

49 responses to “James Jones: I don’t need the NFL to protect my head

  1. That’s cool. Just don’t go suing the league in a couple of years because they didn’t take the necessary measures to protect you from concussions.

  2. This is precisely why the players do need the NFL to protect them. They’re too stupid to realize the damage they’re doing to their body. When you’re 60 and you can’t remember your grandkids names, you’ll wish you got hit in the knees instead of the head.

  3. James Jones

    2013: “I don’t need the NFL to protect my head.”

    2033: “The NFL didn’t do enough to ensure my safety during my playing days. Now I’m broke and I’m going to sue the NFL.”

  4. I have a feeling Anquan Boldin disagrees with James Jones….

    Dude took a vicious hit to the face from Eric Smith back in ’08…

    Youtube it, I guarantee you’ll cringe when you see it….

  5. Cool. Get your union to draft a waiver and require all players to assume the risk and not hold the NFL responsible in any injury related suits down the road.

  6. Exactly, these players know why there getting paid tons of money to play a game. They know this game involves a strong chance to get injured. They see the same hits we do but Goldson got flagged on my plays then I could count this year. Being a niner fan I still know that hit Sherman on Davis was a clean hit. The officials are told to react that way anytime the helmet twist or budge at all. It’s makes it impossible to cover the speed of today’s nfl TE or WR. They need to give the def a chances.

  7. I know a former NFL player, that I respect very much, who told me that he knows the damage the the NFL did to his body was his choice. Joining onto the lawsuit is a business decision.

  8. I’d like to see the NFL adopt a system similar to the NBA, where there are fouls and flagrant fouls. Obviously some helmet to helmet hits are accidental or occur at the last second when a player braces himself for impact. Then there are others who are clearly headhunting, launching themselves at the ball carrier with no real attempt to wrap up and make a tackle (“kill the head and the body will die”). The latter category should be stiffly penalized, and in the former, common sense should prevail.

  9. The players who are suing aren’t suing because thy weren’t protected from helmet to helmet hits. They are suing because they are claiming the NFL knew about the potential damage and did not inform the players of the damage concussions lead to.

  10. He talks like he has friends in the industry. He knows them well. And they know he knows what he’s talking about. This guy is beginning to look and sound like a leader. Good for him.The timing is perfect.

  11. someone needs to tell him that a helmet doesn’t stop the brain from hitting the inside of the skull. A statement that stupid shows precisely why the NFL needs to protect these players from themselves, or risk being sued.

  12. Spoken like an “invincible” kid. That’s the kind of comment that can come back to bite you in a few years when you’re trying to get the court to listen to your lawsuit.

  13. James Jones made more sense in that one story than Roger Goodell has in his entire time as commissioner.

  14. I think there is a fine line between hitting the helmet and intentionally hitting the helmet. What Goldson did to Harris in the Divisional playoff game was aimed to hurt him and should be penalized. I don’t know why they haven’t created a waiver to play in the NFL yet. Play at your own risk…

  15. You can come back next week from a concussion. You don’t come back from helmet to knee hits until maybe next year.

  16. The NFL could make helmets much safer, but for some reason, Goodell refuses to do so.

    The ProCap was used successfully in the NFL, dating back to the mid 1980s, with proven results that showed it reduced concussion risks to nearly zero, for those players who used it..the ProCap.

    Before the ProCap, the NFL watched as Willie Lanier used a helmet with added padding on the outside after Lanier suffered a life threatening concussion during his rookie season in 1967.

    Lanier went on to have a hall of fame career playing another 10 seasons, using that helmet.

    Yet the NFL refuses to mandate the use of the ProCap or the development of helmets with extra padding added to the outside of the helmets used today.

    The NFL needs leadership that actually cares about player safety and is willing to make the necessary upgrades to the equipment used by the players.

    BTW, this week it was stated that the NFL is looking into the issue of low hits, such as hits to the knee.

    At this rate, it won’t be long before tackling is not allowed in the NFL….or…

    …the NFL could upgrade the equipment so players can just play football as it was meant to be played…I’m talking about “tackle” football !

  17. Any time there is a big hit on a receiver, you know there is going to be a flag. I hate the defenseless receiver/helmet to helmet penalty. Most of the time it’s because the receiver drops his head.

  18. 2033: James Jones is sitting in his car at a stop light and can’t remember where he was going or what town he’s in.
    Another reminder: go look up the story of the final few years of Steeler great Mike Webster.

  19. Biggest thing NFL needs to do is make a mouth piece mandatory. a mouth piece adds cushion when you get hit either in your head or your knees from you teeth slamming together which in turn makes your brain hit against your skull. A mouth piece is to protect your brain not your teeth which is why most action sports athletes where them. It’s common sense.

  20. The league is just protecting itself. Look at all the lawsuits from former players and their families for not protecting these players.

  21. TO everyone saying he’ll be complaining in 10 years…i dont see JERRY RICE stuttering with dimentia rolling around in a wheelchair…Making all these defenseless receiver rules are bull$%^&& designed to give offenses the upper hand.

    think about it, all these rules to protect receivers but how many RECEIVERs leave the game with head trauma, aand cant function? Not many, because in the grand scheme they BARELY get touched compared to lineman, running backs, and linebackers- whom i think the league SHOULD be paying extra attention to because they are positions that are generally harder on the body, so to speak.

    Now safeties cant be safeties because you’d rather let the guy catch it and take 2 steps before you can lay the wood, or else he’s “defenseles”…thats no good.

  22. They aren’t protecting your head James, they are protecting themselves from your eventual concussion lawsuit.

  23. “marc820 says:

    You can come back next week from a concussion. You don’t come back from helmet to knee hits until maybe next year.”

    Knee ligaments can be surgically repaired, and yes, the knee takes about a year to properly heal.

    Please explain t0 the class how cumulative damage to the brain is repaired, and how long it takes to recover from that permanent damage.

  24. People make their own choices and assume the risks that go along with it. For the back-in-the-day players, where there was no social media, no rules to protect head, no equipment available at option (still don’t get why new helmets aren’t mandatory) with better head protection, and no daily reminder of conccusion dangers, thats a different story.

    Today, it’s unreasonable to belive that players don’t know or shouldn’t have known the risk they are signing up for. No player from this day and age whatsoever will be able to maintain a case against the NFL for failure to protect their head. So everyone stop saying that.

  25. finally a WR said it.. ur making millions for a few years in the league prob 3-5 years of starting and then another 3-4 with limited snaps.. atleast take the hits u get paid for like a man.. good 2 hear

  26. James Jones’ lawyer just made a facepalm and is shaking his head in disgust at the stupidity of his client.

  27. The people who say how stupid he sounds can be put into 1 category: Football “Fan”. Would you put your life at risk for a loved one? Most of you guys watch football and enjoy it. Some of us have LIVED and LOVED it. Its a choice and the fact of the matter is what James Jones’ opinion is on it or any other NFL player is more important than yours on the issue. If you played D-1 football which I doubt anyone else in these comments has, you would know that Day 1 of camp every year theres a meeting. And in that meeting they show you a video of the most vile, disgusting, stomach turning head/neck injuries ever caught on video in a game. Worse than anything you can look up on Youtube. When the video ends, you have the choice to get up and walk out no questions asked and give up your helmet and shouder pads. The threat is made crystal clear to you, it is presented in front of your face from the second you walk onto campus. Nobody walked out of that meeting once, in my 5 years of college. Point in case there will ALWAYS be a difference of opinion on the subject amongst fans and players. Its plain and simple for the players, love it or leave it. No one is forcing anyone to play, remember that.

  28. Sounds like somebody has had a few too many helmet-to-helmet hits already. I agree with the leather helmet take. If your shield on your head didn’t make it so easy to be used as a weapon, it wouldn’t be used as a weapon.

  29. golforepar says:
    Feb 20, 2013 7:31 PM

    The Lions will be suing the NFL because they never won a playoff game!


    Dude that’s hilarious!

    I think one of the more significant things that’s changed in the past decade is the advancement of protective pads and gear. Most noticable is the shoulder pads, and to be honest, I’m not completely sure how or what other peices of equipment have become less inhibiting in regards to movement and speed, but if you go back and watch a game from ten years ago you can definitely see a difference. Yes, players and humans in general are becoming stronger and faster, but I believe its more than just that. It seems the advancements that have made equipment less restrictive in terms of movement (even if technically the same or better at absorbing shock for example) have made the game actually less safe. The power of momentum goes up exponentially when speed increases. I think this needs to be a topic of focus. I’m not saying we should go back to the 90’s, but maybe there needs to be more focus on equipment by position. No grand ideas or anything, just an observation. I did recently watch a classic game, great one from 2003, and it didn’t bother me at all that that the players were moving a little bit slower. Just sayin’. Not that this is a great idea either, but to throw it out there, how about making the helmets padded on the outside to? They could do it in a way what wouldn’t look bad I bet.

  30. I like James Jones, but having watched every game as a Packer I don’t really remember him getting laid out. In the past couple of years the Packers have thrown lots of back shoulders, WR screens, come back routes and deep bombs along the sideline. There haven’t been a lot of seam routes.

    He should go watch some of the hits Driver took when Favre would throw the ball about 3 feet too high on a 15 yard post.

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