Greg Olsen: A lot more we need to know about concussions


Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has given a lot of thought to the risks of brain injury on the football field, and he’d like to learn more.

Olsen noted on PFT Live that studies showing CTE in the overwhelming majority of deceased NFL players are only one piece of an enormous puzzle linking football and brain damage.

“We have enough information now and by no means should it be suppressed, by no means should it be muted. As much information as we can learn, the better. It will better the game, it will better the lives of its players, both short term and long term,” Olsen said. “But at the same time, I think we also have to understand that there’s a lot more information that needs to come about. A lot more studies. Study the brains of non-football players. How come some guys can play 20 years in the league and live a normal life with no problems? How come some guys even on a short career can have long-term issues. I think there’s a lot of gray area. Is there legitimate concern? Of course. But is there a concrete, definitive answer that if you play football you’re going to have long-term effects? I don’t think we’re close to being there right now. I try not to be naive and I try to look at this thing pretty objectively. There are a lot of smart people out there that are looking into this, and I think they’d even be the first to say with some of these reports that there’s a lot of studies that still need to be done before this is conclusive in any way. They’ll continue to look into it and at the same time we’ll continue to take care of ourselves the best that we can.”

Olsen raises good questions, which can only be answered by more scientific research.

11 responses to “Greg Olsen: A lot more we need to know about concussions

  1. Inertia is a mean force.If you are driving 60 miles an hour and you come to a complete stop the cofee in your cup will slosh around. It doesn’t matter the size of the cup or how thickly the cup is insulated.
    Yes there needs to be more studies and compare to non-football players and establish baselines. But, there is no doubt football punishes your body-brain included.

  2. Suppressed and muted? You can’t open up the sports section now without reading about the NFL and concussions. Luckily there’s no concussion problems in other, safer sports like boxing, hockey, rugby, and college football. The NFL should do whatever it is that they do.

  3. The players at risk are those who use their heads as a weapon or those whose play style creates a cranial target for others. You see plenty of guys who took many head shots but still have all of their faculties. Will they be sharp as a tack at 85? maybe, maybe not. But you can’t blame CTE for everything.

    In last night’s game (NE vs Jags) a Jag player got flagged for helmet to helmet. The player clearly did not try to go head to head, rather executed a textbook shoulder tackle. The ball carrier however spun once hit which resulted in the two player’s earholes slapping together. I get the rule but this play was an example of overreaction by the refs IMO. There was no intent and the collision was not your classic bell ringer.

  4. Lemmy Aksyadis says:
    August 11, 2017 at 9:35 am
    You see plenty of guys who took many head shots but still have all of their faculties.


    You can’t possibly know this. Without both before and after brain studies it is impossible to say.

  5. 100 out of 101 is not exactly “up in the air for determination”. You will get CTE… the question is; how much will it affect you and will we have treatment by that time? We might’ve had a treatment already if the NFL hadn’t gone all “Big-Tobacco” on us. #goodellandclowns

  6. The NFL can certainly do more – penalize the deliberate head shots, better monitoring for concussion symptoms and treatment when someone displays those, tracking the cumulative hits players take. Helmets could be designed to absorb more impact/make the deceleration somewhat less rapid. But I suspect the worst of the damage is done in the pre-NFL years, and this is where the greatest gains can be made. The guys who make it to the NFL are the ones who have always been bigger/faster. So they play a lot more (in some cases, offense, defense, and special teams.) Because they are bigger and faster, the collisions they are involved in are more violent. And until fairly recently, giving hits that left someone wobbly, and continuing to play if you had just been left wobbly, were celebrated. How much damage was done during those extremely formative years by players continuing to play after getting a concussion? As Pop Warner, HS, and colleges get better with tackling techniques, less head-to-head/blows to the head contact, better treatment when someone does have a concussion/possible concussion, the problems of the NFL players will decrease.

  7. Why is this all on the NFL? By the time these players get to the NFL, they have likely already suffered numerous concussions, and probably already have CTE.

  8. It’s pretty simple. Playing football is not good for your brain. You can make all the high tech helmets you want. Enforce tougher rules about head shots. Eliminate kickoffs…why not eliminate the slant route while you’re at it. You can come up with different tackling techniques all you want and unless you can eliminate the brain bouncing off you skull at any type of impact, big, small, fast or slow–football is not good for your brain. Greg Olsen knows this, he is just skirting around saying it…and it’s terribly obvious with all the qualifying statements he makes.

  9. doctorrustbelt says:
    August 11, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I wonder if Greg Olsen’s younger brother has CTE?!?

    GOOGLE: kevin olsen
    CTE or not, Kevin is just a bad person. I’m embarrassed my school gave him a QB job. Other than that crazy “7th Floor Crew” song he was part of at Miami, Greg Olsen has been a model football player his whole life. Kevin just made poor/stupid decisions, even after he got to Charlotte with his brother close by.

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