Recovered from four-month concussion, Tyler Varga is back with the Colts

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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.

16 responses to “Recovered from four-month concussion, Tyler Varga is back with the Colts

  1. If he had a concussion that took 4 months to heal from he shouldn’t be in the NFL. Does the name Jahvid Best sound familiar to anyone?

  2. If you have a four month concussion it is probably time that we don’t call it a concussion anymore and call it what it really is….brain damage.

  3. Speaking of recovering Colts…..has the league announced their findings regarding the Colts’ failure to disclose Andrew Luck’s broken ribs on the injury reports?

  4. The Colts medical staff sounds like a pretty shady bunch…

    “What? Andrew Luck has broken ribs? Eh, send him back out there. I’m sure he won’t get sacked again or anything and have a bone shard puncture one of his organs. Here’s a paper bag full of spray paint he can breathe into if the pain gets overwhelming.”

  5. Did you catch the other nugget, with the Colts bringing him in to work out in pads – with contact – while he was on IR?

  6. Someone who was already on IR was doing on-field activities, in pads, and was supervised by Colts personnel?

    People on IR can use medical facilities, training facilities, the gym, weight rooms, etc. On-field practice, I was always told, is expressly forbidden.

    If this were the Patriots, Ted Wells would be on site already, and the league would be looking to take away about 17 draft picks.

    But this wasn’t footballs that were 0.02 psi (plus or minus 0.40) out of specs. My bad.

  7. The big machine will use you up and spit you out. Been there.

    They may give you a 2nd chance but at the first inclination that you’re not playing by their rules, you are done.

  8. I’m still unclear as to when in the game his concussion happened. If he suffered the concussion and then continued to play and take more hits, a 4 months recovery time doesn’t really seem that odd.

    When you’ve had a concussion you are extremely vulnerable to further injury due to the brains reaction to the initial concussion. That’s why getting people who have suffered a concussion out of the game is essential.

  9. truthprofessor says:
    May 10, 2016 2:16 PM

    If this were the Patriots, Ted Wells would be on site already, and the league would be looking to take away about 17 draft picks.

    But this wasn’t footballs that were 0.02 psi (plus or minus 0.40) out of specs. My bad.


    Nope, the Colts only cheat by piping in crowd noise. They dont deflate footballs, videotape other teams, jam headset transmissions, bring in other teams DBs to learn the signals then ditch them or encrypt their headset transmissions to keep then active past league limits. The Colts have miles to go before they institutionalize cheating to the extent the Pats have.

  10. OK, I retract a bit of the last posting.

    If you do a web search, there was a study done with 25 high schoolers. The key is this was done for people who werent normally recovering. This was in 2013.

    If you go to the link for the Indiana paper, you can see that Varga was not recovering normally.

    “What you didn’t see was the concussion that lasted four months, the days and weeks he spent inside dark rooms, the test he kept failing, the words that got stuck in his mind that his mouth couldn’t spit out. Tyler Varga can tell you about the headaches, the nausea, the dizziness and the doubts. He’ll tell you about the drugs he says the Colts told him to take and why he refused. He’ll tell you why, after all that, he still wants to play football.”

    Apparently the Colts doctor knew of the study, and how it helped some people who werent recovering normally.

    How you balance that against Vargas contracts telling him to avoid Amantadine for the potential side affects vs. its possible help is up to you.

    I would think we will see more Amantadine trials for people not recovering normally from concussions.

  11. I think everyone should read the linked article.

    It also sounds like the closest Varga should get to a football field is the stands.

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