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NFL Linebacker Pushes for Independent Neurologist to Attend All NFL Games

Cleveland’s quarterback Colt McCoy

If you’re a regular Hardison & Cochran blog reader, you know we touch on sports subjects involving youth pretty often. One of our more recent posts came in early September when we covered sports related concussions in youth sports. In that post, we highlighted how the NFL and NCAA are attempting to cut down on the number of concussions.

After a brutal hit involving the Steelers’ James Harrison and Cleveland’s quarterback Colt McCoy, one player is ready to take action to make the game more safe. Current NFL player, Scott Fujita, is coming out and saying he is going to press the National Football League Players Association to request that an independent neurologist attend each NFL game.

Right now, the NFL only requires that a player to be cleared by an independent neurologist after a concussion to return to practice and games, but they are not required to be present at the game. As this report from popular football blog, ProFootballTalk says “the NFL doesn’t even require a team-hired neurologist to be present at games.”

Fujita said the following on the subject in an e-mail to NFL writer Peter King and ProFootballTalk:

“The one thing I know is that when it comes to this issue, players, coaches, and team medical personnel struggle in the heat of the moment. This has been an ongoing problem for years. The game-day sideline is intense, there’s a lot going on, and we can’t always count on everyone to make the most responsible decisions.”

Fujitia added:

“The question becomes not about what’s best for your health, but about what your pain tolerance is and what you’re willing to play through. So when it comes to head injuries, I think the only real solution I’ve heard that might help remedy this problem is to have an independent neurological consultant on the sideline. I think we may have missed an opportunity to properly address this as we were finalizing the CBA. Hopefully it’s not too late to get it right.”

* Photo courtesy of Erik Daniel Drost via Flckr Creative Commons.

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