Sean Richardson wants to return after second cervical fusion surgery

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Safety Sean Richardson was able to return to the field for the Packers after having cervical fusion surgery on his neck following an injury to his neck in 2012.

Richardson needed to have the C-5 and C-6 discs fused and returned to play six games in 2013 and the entire 2014 season. He was off to a good start in 2016, but started feeling pain about a month into the season and found that the C-4 disc was herniated. He ultimately had another fusion surgery done in January, but says that he feels healthy enough to resume his career.

“You just said the key word: I’m healthy,” Richardson said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Why quit if I’m healthy? My thing is I still have love for the game, I still want to play and I feel healthy. I told my family if my neck gives me problems, I was going to hang it up. I wasn’t going to give it a shot. But if I felt normal and felt I’m not at a greater risk than anyone else or at a higher risk to have a catastrophic injury or be paralyzed, then I’m going to give it a shot.”

There are mixed opinions from doctors about whether a player with a “two-level fusion” should play football again and Richardson will see some of those doctors as he tries to get a bill of health that will interest the Packers and/or others in bringing him in for the 2016 season. Even with that go-ahead, the level of risk involved suggests that Richardson won’t be guaranteed much more than a chance to show he’s healthy enough to get a chance to show more.

14 responses to “Sean Richardson wants to return after second cervical fusion surgery

  1. “I told my family if my neck gives me problems …”. Um. Sean. Your neck IS giving you problems. Twice now.

  2. I’ve had the same medical procedure done and he should be happy walking pain free. He shouldn’t even consider football and the Packers shouldn’t even consider him playing again. That’s not to punish him but the NFL should consider getting involved on limited cases like this and not medically clear these types of injuries. The players want to play but the NFL doesn’t need to have a player paralyzed on the field again.
    As much as I despise the Packers and their fans, he shouldn’t be playing, not because of his team, but because it’s the best thing for him and his family.

  3. Him coming back is stupid. The NFL has to step in and say no. Even WWE is now putting health a head of money and ratings and stopping guys from working if they have to much risk to their health.

  4. As a Packers fan, I’d love for him to be back.

    As a human being, I say “Retire. This is a very serious injury, don’t risk being paralyzed for the rest of your life!”

  5. A catastrophic injury should not scare anyone. They happen all the time here.

  6. The Packers will never bring him back under these conditions. And it’s not like he was the second-coming of Deion Sanders.

  7. Have to agree with the majority of comments suggesting he quits. Fusing the cervical vertebrae fundamentally changes the c-spine’s structural support system, increasing stress on those discs under the fusion. This is of course enhanced while the spine is under load. He’s already lost a lot of mobility from two fusions, three fusions will give him full-on Frankenstein neck. (inability to turn his head)

  8. ariani1985 says:
    Feb 24, 2016 11:42 AM
    Fleece him with some fake stock and send him home for his personal safety!

    Can’t, even if they wanted to. The purchase of Packer stock can’t be forced on anyone. There’s none left. All 360,000 shares have been purchased voluntarily and readily by fans from around the world. You read it right. 360,000. The Vikings couldn’t sell their fans 360,000 units of anything. Key chains. Fish scalers. You name it. Heck, they wouldn’t be able to GIVE away 360,000 of anything worth keeping.

  9. Green Bay has a pretty good track record of keeping guys out with serious neck injuries. And by that nature, the NFL itself seems uninterested in signing these guys. Peyton is maybe the exception? I am not familiar enough with the medical condition or possible differences between Collins, Finley, and Richardson vs. Manning… so I’ll leave that to the doctors.

    Green Bay also seems pretty willing to keep these guys ‘in the fold’ in some sense as ambassadors for the team in some capacity.

    The question I have is how have the Packers had three or four of these injuries in the past five or six years? Has any other team had even one? I still contend that the impact of losing an All-Pro and possible HoF level safety talent in Nick Collins cannot adequately be calculated in the amount it set back the Packers.

    That said… football is all that a lot of these guys know. It’s their bread and butter, their livelihood. What are Richardson’s prospects for the next 5-10 years if he isn’t playing for an NFL team? Compared to rolling the dice on even a one year deal which could net him 5-10 years worth of salary compared to other possible income potential for him. It’s his choice (obviously) and I can see it from both sides. Life changing money or the prospect of it does strange things to people.

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