Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman admitted in a article he wrote for TheMMQB.com that during his rookie season, he suffered a concussion early in a game against the Bengals, but didn’t remove himself from action. He attributes that decision to launching his career into defensive stardom.
“On the game’s seventh play, I trailed my receiver down the left sideline and looked back to see Andy Dalton toss it underneath to Chris Pressley, their 260-pound fullback.” Sherman wrote. “As he turned up the sideline I came down hard, squared up, and dove at his legs. His right knee connected with my temple, flipping him over my head. I got up quickly and shook my head back and forth to let them know nobody is running me over. The problem was that I couldn’t see. The concussion blurred my vision and I played the next two quarters half-blind, but there was no way I was coming off the field with so much at stake. It paid off: Just as my head was clearing, Andy Dalton lobbed one up to rookie A.J. Green and I came down with my first career interception. The Legion of Boom was born.”
Sherman also states that a majority of concussions go unnoticed and many players still carry a “tough guy” attitude when it comes to making their coaches and training staff aware of their condition.
“Sometimes players get knocked out and their concussions make news, but more often it’s a scenario like mine, where the player walks away from a hit and plays woozy or blind. Sometimes I can tell when a guy is concussed during a game—he can’t remember things or he keeps asking the same questions over and over—but I’m not going to take his health into my hands and tell anybody, because playing with injuries is a risk that guys are willing to take.”
That’s the exact mentality that the NFL is trying to change. Not just at the professional level but also trying to educated young football players still in Pop Warner football. Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher said in August that he’s likely suffered concussions in the double digits and that injuries “is what I signed up for.”
The 25-year-old Sherman says he plans on playing through head injuries if he can muster the strength to get up after a big hit. Saying that he has little concern over what his life will be like 30-years down the road. Comparing the head injuries to an unhealthy diet. He enjoys what he eats and he’ll play through concussions.
“Do I think about the consequences 30 years down the line? No more than I think about the food I’m enjoying today, which could be revealed in 30 years to cause cancer or a heart murmur or something else unpredictable. Those are the things you cant plan for, and the kind of optimism I have right now is the only way to live. And the next time I get hit in the head and I can’t see straight, if I can, I’ll get back up and pretend like nothing happened. Maybe I’ll even get another pick in the process.
If you don’t like it, stop watching.”