Brett Favre played almost all of his career before the NFL developed an appropriate sensitivity to head injuries. As a result, Favre believes he suffered plenty of them — and kept on playing.
Appearing on The Bubba Army radio show, the Hall of Fame quarterback made an estimate as to the number of concussions he has sustained while playing pro football.“Concussions happen all the time,” Favre said, via TMZ.com. “You get tackled and your head hits the turf, you see flashes of light or ringing in your ears but you’re able to play. That’s a concussion.”“So, based on that, thousands,” he said. “Had to be, because every time my head hit the turf, there was ringing or stars going, flash bulbs . . . but I was still able to play.”Favre played in 302 regular-season games. Even if he had only 1,000 concussions, that’s an average of 3.3 per game.It surely wasn’t thousands. But it was probably plenty, with little if any effort to get him off the field after suffering a brain injury. Before 2009, the concussion protocol consisted of asking the player, “How many fingers?” (The right answer always was two.)
Favre wasn’t alone. For decades, players deal with bell ringing and kept going. The game has gotten much safer since then, even if the risk of head injury lingers. It’s inherent to the game, and barring dramatic changes to the way it’s played, that’s not going away.