K.J. Wright suggests NFL require every concussed player to miss at least one game

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Cleared from a concussion after missing last week’s game, Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright proposes that the league require every player with a head injury to sit out at least one week. Wright’s suggestion likely is unpopular with most NFL players but makes total sense.

“The NFL needs to make it mandatory to where you miss one game if you have a concussion because you are just not right,’’ Wright said, via Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times. “I don’t care that anyone says they feel fine. I think you should miss one game if you’ve got a concussion because it’s a brain, and you’ve got to protect that brain because you’ve only got one.’’

Wright’s comment came on the same day the NFL fined the Seahawks $100,000 for improperly following the league’s concussion protocol in its handling of Russell Wilson after a hit he took in November. Wright praised the team in how it handled his concussion in a December 10 game against Jacksonville.

“They asked me a bunch of questions, took me in the locker room, shut me down,’’ Wright said. “I think they did good through the week. The doctors were really good in communicating with me. No one pressured me coming back. So they did a good job.’’

It was the second concussion of Wright’s career. He missed a game with a head injury in 2012.

“Doing certain things makes you dizzy,” Wright said. “The light hurts your eyes. If the light hurts your eyes, why are you playing a football game the following Sunday? Because you’ve got a concussion for a reason and it’s a brain, so you are going to put your brain through the same thing? That doesn’t make any sense to me, so I think you should miss a game.’’

Wright, 28, is married with an 18-month-old son.

“As you get older you get a new perspective of life,’’ Wright said. “You start having kids, get a wife, and you realize that at that at the end of the day it’s just a game. It’s a really important game. But it’s just a game. So the older you get, the wiser you should get, and so I realize different things. . . . [The] 23-year-old me would have probably tried to play through it, which is kind of dumb.’’

32 responses to “K.J. Wright suggests NFL require every concussed player to miss at least one game

  1. As someone who treats people with all manner of traumatic brain injuries on a regular basis, I couldn’t agree more. When you see people who still get tired reading one page of a book three years post-concussion, you realize that concussions are something you can’t just walk off.

    Some people get lucky and probably CAN safely play the next week, but the vast majority of people should be given plenty of time for brain to recover and rest.

  2. I think its likely time for him to retire. I dont say that in a bad way, but when you start really thinking like that you likely arent playing as hard as you used to and thats when you wind up injuring something else.

  3. Medically I’m sure this makes sense, though it is unimaginable that the league is going to tell Drew Brees or Tom Brady they have to sit for a playoff game. Just one more reason to think the future of football is shaky at best

  4. Medically I’m sure this makes sense, though it is unimaginable that the league is going to tell Drew Brees or Tom Brady they have to sit for a playoff game. Just one more reason to think the future of football is shaky at best

    *****************************************

    That’s why there should be good 2nd string QBs. Look at the Eagles, Wentz goes down and Foles is not Wentz but might be good enough to get them to the Super Bowl. Texans, Dolphins have decent teams but won’t be going to the playoffs because their back-up plans suck.

  5. IF it was up to me, they would take steroids work out to the max and the wussies go home, football gladiator style. No rules when it comes to health. You dont want millions, dont play. These are some of the most privileged people in the world, like trust fund babies

  6. Someone is going to come out with a helmet that prevents 90% of the concussions. Someone is going to come out with an anti-inflammatory drug that players can take before games that prevent concussions. Football isn’t going anywhere.

  7. The NFL would be a much better league if they cut the league down to 16-20 teams. Injuries would not be as devastating to the rosters, players would be hungrier/more competitive and it would give teams more security when they have to shut a player down from a concussion or any other injury. But that would reduce the overall TV money as they no longer would cover every market. So it’s not happening.

    It’s not the rules, it’s the talent pool.

  8. Why does everything always have to be so black and white, right and wrong?

    A player says extra time is needed to recover from brain trauma, and they’re right. Another believes toughness is required to play pro football, and they’re right.

    Sometimes you can be a bit right, and a bit wrong; it’s called a grey area. Not everything can be put into a neat little package. Sheesh.

  9. This would incentivize players to head hunt against division rivals and other contenders for the bye or wild card, increasing the impact to the teams, and prompting more retaliation. What would discourage head hunting is to make the player who causes the concussion sit out. I do not know that there is medical proof that a second week of rest after a concussion has a big benefit, it may be that the damage is done the same either way. But there is definitely benefit to sitting the player who caused the concussion, as he cannot cause another while sitting.

  10. I think football players should no longer hit with shoulder pads but be required to grab with hands and pull to the ground. All runners must run straight up and down and not lower head or center of gravity. Our goal should be zero injuries and clean healthy competition.

  11. jsuch2 says:
    December 21, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    That’s why there should be good 2nd string QBs. Look at the Eagles, Wentz goes down and Foles is not Wentz but might be good enough to get them to the Super Bowl. Texans, Dolphins have decent teams but won’t be going to the playoffs because their back-up plans suck.
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    You have to be realistic. 10 of the teams in the league don’t even have 1 decent QB, and you think there going to be able to come up with 64 of them in total?

  12. Classic Roger Goodell. $1 million and 2 draft picks for allegedly taking air out of a few footballls (and no proof that it happened). One game suspension for intentionally concussing another player, $100K fine for knowingly putting a concussed player back into an NFL game. This is the guy that NFL owners want guarding “the integrity of the game”.

  13. It sounds like a good idea at first glance, but I believe it will reverse all the progress made in diagnosising concussions. The players would do everything possible to hide injuries to avoid missing next week.

  14. Concussions can be serious and even life threatening. Symptoms may not show up until a week to ten days later. However, KJ Wright is not a medical doctor, and he simply does not have the medical knowledge to dictate what the league should do about players who have concussions.

  15. It’s a wonderful idea.

    Falcons have pretty much made this a requirement. Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Ryan Schraeder all sat out after suffering from concussion.

    Players most definitely have to be protected from themselves.

  16. The future of football will be just fine, it’s too ingrained in our culture to deteriorate. As fans, it’s smarter to think before we react, and not everyone who writes about football online really understands the positive aspects to the sport. As long as a player really has a concussion, I have no problem with them sitting a week.

    But understand, not all hard shots to the head result in a concussion. Much depends on the angle of the collusion.

  17. This would only invite teams to be more sneaky about concussions. Are they really going to think of the player’s health first, if the next game happens to be a divisional opponent in a tight race? Maybe for the team’s 7th best defender, but not for the QB

  18. Sooo he wants it to be legal to be paid without playing.

    I’m on board with this if part of the rule is that they willingly lose the game check, and 1/16th of their signing bonus.

    If the players are all about safety, this shouldn’t be an issue, right?

    Does he really mean it, or is this typical CBA pre-fighting going on? The league wants 17 games. The players want less games. The players want more money for less work. The league wants 17 games.

    Is this suggestion, about getting paid for less work REALLY about concern and safety?

    Anyone? Anyone.. Bueller…. Bueller…….

  19. charliecharger says:
    December 21, 2017 at 8:33 pm
    Someone is going to come out with a helmet that prevents 90% of the concussions.

    That’s called no helmet. Either that or something that looks like the Great Gazoo.

    But about this missing a game. If the concussion happens in the first minute, does the player sit that game AND the next? If it happens on the last play he really only sits one game. See how that can go wrong?

    Want to get serious about this stuff? Pull a JuJu, 4 games, $1m fine, lose 1st round pick. That’s what you get for possibly knowing about something that might have happened. Seems like player safety should be at least that important.

    If you’re serious that is.

  20. charliecharger says:
    December 21, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Someone is going to come out with a helmet that prevents 90% of the concussions.
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    It’s not just the impact to the head – it is the movement of the brain inside the skull that causes the concussion. So unless this new helmet fits inside your head, you are never going to eliminate the damage caused by head injuries.

  21. The most important question is how do the protocols and decisions made at the level of the NFL influence youth sports? With regard to concussions as Adam Brandt tweeted today, “Concussion protocol should start with one basic premise: if there is any question – any question – whether player should continue to play, he shouldn’t.’ Parents and coaches – these are our kids, they can play another day. State concussion laws mandate a minimum of 24 hours and require a doctor’s note for the return. The problem is that in half the states these laws do not include non-school based youth leagues. And in the states that include these leagues/clubs, no lay person implementation system is provided. TeamSafe™

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