The rookie year of former Yale running back Tyler Varga ended only three weeks into the regular season, thanks to a concussion that resulted in his placement on injured reserve. As explained by Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star, Varga is now back with the team for offseason workouts after a concussion that lasted four months.
Buried in the lengthy article is one disturbing nugget. Varga claims that a Colts doctor prescribed Amantadine, a drug developed to treat Parkinson’s disease.
“You should definitely take it,” the Colts doctor (whom Varga declined to name) told Varga.
Varga said he then reached out to several doctors he knows from Yale. “They got back to me within five minutes. And all of them were like, ‘Don’t take that,'” Varga said, explaining that he was concerned about the potential side effects.
“The worst case, they told me, were some psychotic reactions like schizophrenia,” Varga said. “And you just can’t stop taking it. You up the dosage until you’re symptom-free. That’s my understanding of it. It sounded pretty scary to me.”
So Varga told the Colts doctor that Varga wouldn’t be taking the medication. And 45 minutes later Varga learned he was being placed on injured reserve.
Not surprisingly, the entire ordeal with the concussion and recovery prompted Varga to consider quitting football. Ultimately, he decided to keep going.
“Obviously it was a hard decision, an extremely hard decision,” Varga said. “You have to look at both outcomes, and if you don’t, you’re not thinking right. But it comes down to this: I’m back here because I wanted to compete again.”
The deeper question is whether the Colts will let Varga compete on their behalf after digesting the things he said regarding the way his concussion was handled. It would be wrong, but in the inherently subjective process of paring down a roster, it would be difficult to prove a connection between Varga’s comments and an eventual decision to cut him loose.