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A Rash of Concussions but Most Expect to Start Just One Week Later

It really felt like concussion week in the NFL. Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, Michael Vick, Ryan Clark (I think? again?). Even backup Brady Quinn who had filled in for Matt Cassel has sustained two concussions this year the latest of which he tried to play through (umm fines anyone?). Really surprised he said that in public. Anyway, if you remember, Quinn only got the start after Matt Cassel was concussed.

In two cases — Jay Cutler and Michael Vick — the QBs played through at least two more snaps before being tested and benched. In Cutler’s case, I believe the count was 7. Surprisingly enough, the NFL believed that the teams followed protocol in both cases and no fines are forthcoming.

Multiple reporters this week (including one at the Bears hometown paper Chicago Tribune) argued that a week is not enough for recover. A few have gone so far as to say that ALL concussed players should sit out the following week. I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on that? Should it be a rule? That would be going one step further of the fairly new rule that concussed players can’t return to the same game and the tightened up rules for future return.  

Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid called Michael Vick’s concussion “significant” which I took to mean worse than they will admit. Still, there are signs pointing to him starting this coming week. But never to worry, his teammate RB-turned-spokesperson Lesean McCoy has assured us that Michael Vick can “hold a conversation” and isn’t “in la la land.” As comforting as that is, Foles should start this week. McCoy has no report on Jay Cutler’s condition but I think he should also sit. And Alex Smith as well.

I don’t want to see Kaepernick vs. Mccown or Campbell any more than you do but such is life. As it stands right now as I’m typing, none of the concussed starters have “officially”  been ruled out for this week except Brady Quinn.

Ryan Clark (S Steelers) is a whole other animal together. He has a history of stingers and concussions and has sustained two concussions this season alone. There is substantial evidence that one concussion increases your chances of of having another. And Clark looks to be headed the Austin Collie route and that concerns me. I also was concerned at the way he seemed to be overselling his health. He made a point of telling the beat reporters that he was doing just fine and then took to twitter to issue a string of overly happy tweets. I could be reading too much into it, but again, it *felt* like an oversell TO ME. Remember, this is the same guy who expressed a willingness to play in Denver even though the last time he did it he almost died due to the altitude.

I’m no Miss Cleo but I expect the Baltimore Ravens to pose somewhat of a concussion risk for Byron Leftwich this week. Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is expected to sit out due to sustaining a rib injury AND a shoulder injury against the Chiefs inconsistently stout defense. All I can say about that is Ay yi yi

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