At a time when the NFL is only beginning to listen to people who have different ideas about pain management, one of the greatest players of all time offered yet another reminder of why they need to.
Via Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News, Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith said he has daily reminders of his physical pain, along with moments he’s reminded of the other impacts of nearly two decades of football.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not in pain,” Smith said. “Multiple joints and things that I experience on a daily basis. It can be very frustrating sometimes and painful, but I’m very blessed.”
For 19 years, he wreaked havoc on the field, as the NFL’s all-time leader in sacks with 200.0. But that came with a cost to him as well. Smith was blunt and admitted there are times he forgets things, but was generally grateful for the time spent playing the game.
“I’m not one to sit here and complain,” he said. “While I did not know the severity of what continuous head traumas could do to an individual and the mind and so forth, I’m not going to sit here and complain. I’m very blessed to be standing here.”
But when asked if he thought the NFL was being forthcoming with scientific information about concussions, Smith said he wasn’t sure players would ever get the full story.
“For some reason or another, I don’t think we’ll ever get to that,” he said. “But obviously, there’s some light that can be shed on the subject. But for reasons that may be too sensitive, for reasons that may be too damaging, we won’t ever get to that point. However, I do think they’re taking steps to move in the right direction in the protection of players and future players in the present time. But there are some guys who are suffering that we need to make sure are taken care of.”
Some of that help could come in the form of the concussion settlement, which continues to creep closer to reality three years after it was negotiated.