As some in the media sink their teeth into the “football is doomed” narrative due to the anecdotal perception that some players are leaving the game earlier than they used to, few will point out that players fresh out of college who are deemed to possess the skills to compete in the NFL continue to flock to the sport.
This year’s class of players fresh out of college is headlined by, among others, former North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. In an interview that was aired during Friday’s PFT Live, I asked Wentz whether he is concerned about concussions, specifically because of this excerpt from Nolan Nawrocki’s NFL Draft 2016 Preview regarding Wentz: “Sustained two concussions during his [high school] senior season. . . . Has suffered multiple concussions during his career and medical history requires closer scrutiny.”
Wentz disagreed with the characterization that he has sustained multiple concussions.
“It’s not a huge concern,” Wentz said. “I only had one [concussion], way back in high school. I know the technology with helmets and everything, and the game’s getting safer. It’s something that I think as competitors you don’t think about it a lot unless it’s really happened to you or you’ve experienced those things. I know for me I don’t think about it much. I know some guys do but I don’t get caught up in a lot of it and I just think that the technology and things with helmets and everything are just going to keep improving and I think the games going to get safer.”
Wentz’s feelings undoubtedly are shared by the other 250-plus players who will be drafted, and the 600 or so more who will clamor to sign as undrafted free agents. Which underscores the reality, to the chagrin of those who relish the thought that Rome is shrinking, that there will continue to be 1,696 total players to fill the active rosters of 32 NFL teams, because every year the nation’s 253 Division I college football programs are kicking out more than enough men who know or should know the risks but nevertheless choose to play.