Sunday, May 20, 2018
Sports

Survey finds concussions not players' chief concern

During a 15-year NFL career that sent him pinballing over the middle of the field too many times to count, absorbing hits as wicked as they come, former Colts and Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley endured injuries that literally ran from head to toe.

And while, by his own estimate, that included at least a dozen concussions, the only health issue that made him seriously contemplate quitting the game was a problem with a small bone in the middle of his foot in his fourth season.

"I told my wife, 'This is it. I'm done. I can't deal with this pain every day,' " Stokley said.

Yet he pressed on. Eventually the foot pain subsided. The concussions? Those kept accumulating. Stokley, essentially, shrugged them off.

"The thing with concussions is, usually, you're out a week or two, and then you're back fine," said Stokley, 39. "But you mess your knee up, you're out a year. You mess your shoulder up, you're done for a year."

That nonchalant attitude toward concussions that Stokley held is not all that different from what was expressed by many current players in an AP survey conducted this season. Less than half of the group — only 39 of the 100 players — said they are more worried about the long-term effects of concussions than those of other injuries. Of the remaining 61 players, 20 either said they are not concerned at all about concussions or less concerned about them than other injuries, while 41 said the concern is equal for all injuries.

This year during the regular season, there were 182 reported concussions, a 58-percent increase from a year ago, according to the NFL.

And yet?

"Not worried," Raiders running back Jamize Olawale said. "I think it's blown out of proportion."

Now out of the NFL for two years, Stokley was asked if he has any concussion symptoms.

His reply: "I'm not really wanting to discuss my standing right now."

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