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In the never ending saga of concussions

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Old
03-13-2012, 10:05 AM
  #301
Hamilton Tigers
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NHL misses the point on concussions

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You have to hand it to the NHL. Here is a league that readily admits the amount of concussions sustained so far this season is on par with last season, and yet this is somehow spun as good news. As though the status quo were something to be proud of. As though scrambled brains have become a necessary hazard of the game, like lost teeth or a cut on a chin.

It all sounds pretty ludicrous, especially with Sidney Crosby, Chris Pronger, Nicklas Backstrom and so many other star players sitting out these days. But on Day 1 of the annual NHL general managers meetings at the Boca Raton Resort & Club on Monday, a league that had previously made strides with player safety now sounds content with sticking its head in the sand.
http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/...n-concussions/



Man-games lost to concussions on the upswing in NHL

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How hard is too hard and how many concussions is too many has become part of the debate during these meetings
Quote:
What's changed is that the number of man-games lost to those concussions is on the rise.

That, however, was viewed as a positive by those in attendance, who for the most part seemed to agree with Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke that the issue is not quite the “epidemic” it's often made out to be.

“Guys maybe came back too soon in the past,” Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said. “Now we're doing a better job of making sure players are ready to play. I think that's actually the best thing that's come out of all of this: The culture has changed. They're not trying to be macho anymore. They realize they don't want to mess around.”
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle2367272/


Last edited by Hamilton Tigers: 03-13-2012 at 10:10 AM.
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03-27-2012, 03:11 AM
  #302
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http://m.theglobeandmail.com/sports/...service=mobile

Duhatschek thinks that the "playoff marathon" will hinge on how many players get concussions (or have them "now" and will be unable to play).

While it was reported @ GM meetings in Florida early this month that # of concussions is about the same as last year, considering who has been impacted, it just seems a lot "more" players have missed time this season.

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03-27-2012, 03:44 AM
  #303
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Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/G...ews+for+NHL%29

Gordie Howe fundraising for dementia (which took his wife).

Son Marty says dementia is slowing taking Gordie too. (He played in an era when concussions were never tracked.)
Gordie Howe came back from a head injury that nearly ended his career in a collision with the Leafs Teeder Kennedy in the 1950 play-offs. Gordie skated in on Kennedy who was in the corner-carrying the puck. Just before impact, Teeder pulled up sending Gordie sprawling head first into the boards. Gordie slumped to the ice covered in his own blood, a victim of a fractured skull. After a lengthy operation, Gordie survived.
For the next few hours, many thought the worst. His mother was called in case his condition worsened and an operation was performed to relieve the pressure on his brain. Howe had fractured his skull and was out for the rest of the playoffs, but he did make a remarkable recovery. The Wings, stirred by Howe's injury, defeated the Leafs in overtime of the seventh game, ending Toronto's three-year reign as Stanley Cup champions. When Detroit won the Cup with a victory over the New York Rangers, again in overtime of the seventh game, Howe was cheered when he gingerly walked onto the Olympia ice to touch the trophy.
Most doctors felt that he was lucky to escape the tragic accident with his life and that he would never play the game of hockey again. There was a fear he would lose an eye as well.



It was touch and go for awhile as he regained consciousness after the skull fracture and operation and he recuperated in hospital:



When he returned to action next season he wore a helmet for a few exhibition games before discarding it and continuing his lengthy HHOF career. That season he was not only back to playing the game, he led the entire league in scoring.



BTW a lasting souvenir of his brush with death was intermittent blinking from the neurological damage and he was given the name of "Blinky" by his teammates.


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04-12-2012, 01:09 AM
  #304
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http://nhlbruins.tumblr.com/post/20903882530

Bruins' Horton shut down for season (missing all of playoffs).

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04-13-2012, 12:41 PM
  #305
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darrenrovell 9:36am via Web Concussion lawsuits continue. Now the NFL's official helmet maker is suing its insurance companies http://t.co/d72GTR7c



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04-21-2012, 01:37 PM
  #306
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Listening to Sirius XM this morning and their "top of the hour" sports summary included one item that X (I missed the name) had filed a lawsuit against NFL et al, this being the 61st such suit filed regarding concussions.


That's a lot of lawyers.

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04-21-2012, 05:02 PM
  #307
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http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey...adache-for-nhl

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But the Penguins have been able to take a small measure of solace in the fact they haven’t had to pay Crosby much of his team-high $9 million salary. Pittsburgh has an insurance policy in place that covers Crosby’s absence when he’s injured and out of the lineup for more than 30 games.

That security blanket is poised to disappear.

Insurance companies specializing in sports say the Penguins and other NHL teams will increasingly have to adopt the risk of million-dollar contracts alone as the number of players sidelined with concussions swells. The prospect threatens to alter the hockey industry.

For players who have suffered serious concussions — there are at least 73 players who have missed games this season with brain injuries, according to player agent Allan Walsh — new contracts will include so-called concussion exclusions.

That will mean teams won’t be able to insure those players against future brain injuries.

Bill Hubbard, chief executive of HCC Specialty, a New York-based company that also specializes in the sports industry and has insured hockey players, says it could lead to an even more troubling development for the NHL.

If more players continue to be sidelined with concussions, insurers may stop insuring players with brain injuries altogether.

“Right now you’ve got 10 per cent of the league affected by concussions,” Hubbard said. “While I don’t know where the breaking point is, at some point, if it keeps trending this way, companies are not going to be able to insure NHL players for concussions.”

...

Consider the Penguins’ quandary with Crosby.

He has one year left on a contract that will pay him roughly $7.5 million. If he manages to recover and return to the ice, he’ll be in line for a new long-term contract paying him at least $10 million a year.

But no insurance company is likely to insure his contract against concussions.

That means if Crosby is sidelined with yet another brain injury, the Penguins, who now make a modest profit, would be obliged to pay off his entire contract.

“I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes,” said Dan DiPofi, the Buffalo Sabres’ former chief operating officer. “Signing him to a multi-year contract, they’ll be on the hook for the whole thing. Maybe they’ll convince him to agree to a one-year contract.”

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04-21-2012, 05:11 PM
  #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
Listening to Sirius XM this morning and their "top of the hour" sports summary included one item that X (I missed the name) had filed a lawsuit against NFL et al, this being the 61st such suit filed regarding concussions.


That's a lot of lawyers.
I think it's a question of time for ex-hockey players to file important suits vs the NHL regarding concussions. There's enough science now for lawyers to argue the league is fully aware of the dangers of concussions. With the concussion epidemic, they'll argue the NHL didn't do enough to avert concussions and protect players.

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04-24-2012, 08:39 PM
  #309
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http://www.tsn.ca/nfl/story/?id=394139

Group of ex-Dallas Cowboys file suit (so, that's #62?)

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A group of former Dallas Cowboys including Hall of Famers Randy White, Bob Lilly and Rayfield Wright joined with other retired NFL players to file the latest concussion-related lawsuit against the NFL.

The suit, which accuses the league of ignoring a link between concussions and permanent brain injuries, was filed Tuesday in Houston's federal court and includes 28 former players among the plaintiffs.

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05-03-2012, 12:03 PM
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http://www.mercurynews.com/other-spo...aching-tipping

In the wake of Junior Seau's suicide...

Quote:
It's unknown if football had anything to do with Seau's death. But the fact that people quickly drew a possible connection between his death and football violence demonstrates that the NFL's concussion crisis may have reached a tipping point.
As former 49ers center Randy Cross tweeted Wednesday: "Whether Seau death had anything to do with depression etc the head trauma issue is a giant ticking time bomb for Football. Be educated."
...
Pro football, America's favorite game, is more popular than ever. The first round of the NFL draft last Thursday drew a record 25.3 million television viewers.
At the same time, the long-term toll of the game's inherent violence on players' brain is just becoming fully understood. More than 1,000 former players, including Visger, have filed lawsuits against the league, alleging that the NFL failed to properly treat concussions and attempted to conceal possible links between football and brain injuries.
Last month, former football and acting star Alex Karras added his name to that list. Known for his bone-crushing hits with the Detroit Lions and famously punching a horse in the 1974 comedy "Blazing Saddles," the 76-year-old Karras has been showing signs of dementia for about 12 years. His wife told reporters that he believes football is the cause.
...
Dr. Bennet Omalu is the forensic pathologist who chronicled the brain condition of Mike Webster, the former Steelers star whose case sounded the first alarms. Omalu also examined Waters and said the former player had the brain tissue of an 85-year-old man. Waters was 44 when he died.
For years, the NFL refuted claims that there was a connection between on-field concussions and the long-term mental impairment of players. But the league has sharply changed course in recent years, contributing money to research and cracking down on blows to the head.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has made player safety one of his top priorities. That was seen in the stiff punishment meted out to the New Orleans Saints in the bounty scandal....

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05-03-2012, 01:26 PM
  #311
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Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
http://www.mercurynews.com/other-spo...aching-tipping

In the wake of Junior Seau's suicide...
Sadly, parts of the article remind me of the Chris Benoit case.

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05-03-2012, 02:03 PM
  #312
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I'm not sure how the rules of football can be changed to protect the players without fundamentally changing the game. My understanding is it's the lineman who suffer the greatest risk of brain injury even though they don't suffer the huge highlight reel hits. It's the every down, every play collisions that seem to be doing the damage. So even preventing concussions might not be enough if it's the cumulative impact of sub-concussive trauma that's the primary cause. Linemen smash into each other on every play.

Hockey would seem to have an easier path to reform. You could ban fighting and hard checking and the game would still be recognizably hockey.

It's not that hard to see a future where cities and states start outright banning youth football. But then I'm surprised youth boxing isn't outlawed. I assumed it was, but was surprised to find it wasn't. But youth boxing isn't very popular either.

How many hard collisions do most players have per game in hockey? I see a lot of guys getting woozy, a clear indication of some degree of brain trauma, but staying in the game.

Football could start putting weight limits on players, I guess. 300+ lb lineman aren't necessary for football to be fun to watch. That might help some.

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05-03-2012, 02:25 PM
  #313
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I tried to find data on concussion rates per sport. There are big problem with under-reporting. And sub-concussive brain trauma isn't measured at all. In fact, right now, we don't know how to track it.

Still, here's the official concussion data I found.
Sport -- # of players -- # of games -- # of concussions
NBA - 390 players -- 12 concussions -- .03 per player per season
MLB - 750 players -- 20 concussions -- .03 per player per season
NHL - 690 players -- 75 concussions -- .11 per player per season
NFL - 1696 players - 190 concussions - .11 per player per season

The # of concussions per game is vastly higher in the NFL than any other sport, but they play so many fewer games that it's about the same risk per season as the NHL. And the NHL data I found was just for the regular season. So the NHL could easily have a higher risk per player per season. Still, there's an official report of a concussion in over half of all NFL games.

I should note that I just gathered this data with google and can't verify any of this is official, just #s I gathered from various news stories that have reported on the issue.

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05-03-2012, 02:27 PM
  #314
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Talk about a jinxed team, sad

The curse of the Chargers: Eight players on San Diego's 1994 Super Bowl team have died before age 45

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz1tpfVXUvD

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05-04-2012, 12:30 PM
  #315
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http://www.tsn.ca/nfl/story/?id=395032

Seau family decides to donate brain for study (but destination not clear/selected, yet).



Mod note: Let's keep this focused on concussions/suspected/possible concussions, not general NFL or other sports.

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05-04-2012, 04:20 PM
  #316
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NCAA to recommend change to 3/4 visors to make game safer?

http://www.collegehockeynews.com/new..._than_ever.php

Quote:
The NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee is planning to formally recommend, at its June meetings in Indianapolis, that college hockey change from full shields to three-quarter visors. The recommendation will go to the NCAA's Committee of Competitive Safeguards, where college hockey will have a chance to further make its case.

Beyond that, it would need approval from a few more levels of the NCAA hierarchy, but the Competitive Safeguards committee is considered the biggest hurdle.

The Rules Committee first met with members of the Safeguards committee last November, along with other interested parties, as part of an information session. Among those there to help make the case for college hockey were coaches Jack Parker, Jeff Jackson and Tom Anastos; former College Hockey Inc. Executive Director Paul Kelly; prominent doctors, including Dr. Paul Comper, the NHL's specialist on head injuries; and representatives from the USHL.
...
It's been believed that the NCAA, concerned about liability issues, would never change the policy. But Kelly, a practicing attorney, believes the NCAA has the liability issue backwards.

"I told the committee that, since every other organized league in the world has gone to half visors for players over 18," Kelly said, "if you're the only league that refuses to, and then you have a guy who crashes into the boards and suffers catastrophic injury, you can bet 100 to 1 you will have a lawsuit brought against the NCAA and maybe the conference for failure to take actions when your own coaching body and medical community is telling you it will make the game safer (without them)."

Coaches believe eliminating full face shields will reduce concussions, the potential for neck and spine injuries, and reckless play.

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05-04-2012, 04:43 PM
  #317
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so in other words, when college players make it to the NHL, they get hammered once and are out for the rest of their careers. good one!

then, the NHL gets blamed for other leagues' idiocy.


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05-10-2012, 12:02 AM
  #318
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Tonight on NBC's "Rock Center" with Brian Williams includes segment on girls soccer players "living" with concussions (and their aftermaths).

(#2 "sport" of reporting concussions after NFL.)

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05-10-2012, 12:31 AM
  #319
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Tonight on NBC's "Rock Center" with Brian Williams includes segment on girls soccer players "living" with concussions (and their aftermaths).

(#2 "sport" of reporting concussions after NFL.)
... thats interesting, and I was unaware that it ranked that highly, almost an epidemic. Makes sense though, head contact with the ball & often times when two or more players are going for a header they'll collide while airborne, a sickening sight, and absolutely the cumulative effects of those kinds of sustained unprotected impacts are going to have consequences. Ive often wondered about that with soccer, and I thought Id read somewhere that at the amateur levels, a lot of leagues & organizations had outlawed "Heading" for players under the age of 16. Its a big part of the game, a skill thats required, but Man, talk about inviting trauma.

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05-10-2012, 01:11 AM
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So to clarify a bit.. Soccer is #2 sport behind football.


It was mentioned in the show that the physical trait of having a long neck may account for some of the severity of the injuries (IOW, head easier to turn fast, causing more/severe injuries). And female players are more likely to be injured than male (physical differences).

Right now, or at least in Pennsylvania, there is no age limit on heading.

They did post a video of Team USA star showing/teaching how to "properly" head the ball on their website.

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05-10-2012, 01:24 AM
  #321
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^^^ huh, thats kinda crazy. I played a lot of soccer as a kid, watched/watch it, fan, and therese a real art to doing it properly. Still, collisions simply cant be avoided, not to mention that the ball is traveling with a lot of velocity. That impact on a still soft skull in children just cant be good for the brain, and sure, the longer the neck, the more whiplash that'll occur.

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05-10-2012, 12:09 PM
  #322
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The Ball

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^^^ huh, thats kinda crazy. I played a lot of soccer as a kid, watched/watch it, fan, and therese a real art to doing it properly. Still, collisions simply cant be avoided, not to mention that the ball is traveling with a lot of velocity. That impact on a still soft skull in children just cant be good for the brain, and sure, the longer the neck, the more whiplash that'll occur.
The new synthetic soccer balls stay hard longer. The old leather soccer balls tended to get mushy with use.

Technique is another issue. Quality coaching does not increase in direct proportion to participation.

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05-11-2012, 11:44 AM
  #323
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http://www.designnews.com/document.a...Layout=article

Colorado company working on prototype of football helmet that has up to 75 mini (dime sized) airbags. Hope to have prototypes by end of calendar year.

Quote:
Concussion Mitigation Technologies LLC is proposing to equip future helmets with enough electronic intelligence to enable them to measure a hit, compare it to pre-determined criteria, and intelligently pressurize as many as 75 dime-sized airbags. Troy Fodemski, founder of the fledgling company, believes the technology will help professional and amateur sports deal with growing concerns about head injuries.
...
The company's football helmet, which hasn't yet been fully prototyped, will incorporate multiple strain gages, a small cartridge of carbon dioxide (CO2), scores of tiny airbags, a lithium battery, and a printed circuit board with a microprocessor, memory, and analog-to-digital converters. On the field, the helmet will use the strain gages to measure the impact of hit. Then it will send the data to the microprocessor, compare it to software models in memory, and pressurize the airbags with CO2 when necessary.
...
Fodemski's solution would mitigate damage to the brain by firing the airbags when the brain is about to hit the inside of the skull. The company says that its airbags would provide inward force, serving to nudge the brain back to neutral sooner, rather than having to wait for eight or 10 more collisions while the brain moves back and forth.
...
Fodemski said he doesn't yet know what his football helmets will cost, but it's believed that they could run several times as much as today's helmets, which often cost between $175 and $300. Concussion Mitigation Technologies also hopes to place the technology in other sports, such as hockey, baseball, and skiing, as well as in the military. Initial prototypes for football are expected to be ready in about six months.

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05-11-2012, 05:14 PM
  #324
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... thats interesting, and I was unaware that it ranked that highly, almost an epidemic. Makes sense though, head contact with the ball & often times when two or more players are going for a header they'll collide while airborne, a sickening sight, and absolutely the cumulative effects of those kinds of sustained unprotected impacts are going to have consequences. Ive often wondered about that with soccer, and I thought Id read somewhere that at the amateur levels, a lot of leagues & organizations had outlawed "Heading" for players under the age of 16. Its a big part of the game, a skill thats required, but Man, talk about inviting trauma.
There's also heavy contact in goal. 12 years ago I had a knockout concussion playing in goal my sophomore year in highschool. They told me I got kicked in the head (I never did remember the impact) right above the ear, by my temple.
At the time, no one thought anything of letting me finish that game. Or the two other games that day, and three the next. (God bless tournament season) I didn't know any better, thought it was just a headache. The nauseau was just from the heat, etc. Popped a couple aspirin (blood thinner + hea dinjury = brilliant idea) in between games and kept trucking. Earned myself a trip to the emergency room the next day when I got lost on my way to class, slurred my speech, and stumbled down some stairs (they inititally thought I was drunk, go figure) CT scan showed no bleeding in the brain, so I was under observation, but never did miss a practice or a game.

A huge problem in youth sports is simply lack of education. Thank god it seems to have improved now- but there are still tons of coaches, trainers, and players that have no idea the risk factors of a concussion, how to assess a player after injury, treatment, etc.

As for heading- heading a pass isn't much of a danger if done correctly. However, it's increasingly common to see players block a shot with a header- which should probably be outlawed at every level of play. Trust your goalie's hands for those.

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05-11-2012, 05:56 PM
  #325
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A couple more Concussion pieces from the Murky News.

Former Stanford receiver Chris Owusu looks for fresh start with the San Francisco 49ers

Quote:
Former Stanford wideout Chris Owusu met with reporters on the eve of Friday's mini-camp for 49ers rookies and talked at length about how excited he is to begin his NFL dream.

But there was one word that he never once uttered: concussion.

Owusu's name has become synonymous with the growing brain-trauma problem in football. He suffered three concussions over a 13-month period -- including two that prematurely ended his senior season -- and that history frightened off teams in the recent NFL draft.

"I just want to move forward," Owusu said Thursday. "It's unfortunate that I'm part of this conversation. But hopefully in the next couple of months, I'll finally get to change that. I don't want to be known as someone who is surrounded by this topic."

Signing as an undrafted free agent with the 49ers reunites Owusu with former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Owusu is a big-play threat whose blistering 4.36-second time in the 40-yard dash tied him for the fastest at the NFL combine among receivers.

...

et NFL teams acted as if Owusu didn't exist.

"He's off our board," one anonymous general manager told Sports Illustrated, adding it wouldn't have mattered if Owusu had been the eventual No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III. —‰... With that kind of history it's not worth the risk of him being seriously injured, especially with all the attention you're going to receive."

The league is facing a public-relations crisis. A mounting wave of lawsuits, which now involves nearly 2,000 former players, alleges that the NFL was deceptive about the long-term effects of head trauma. Last week, football was rocked by the suicide of Junior Seau -- the third ex-player to take his own life in 15 months after Dave Duerson and Ray Easterling.
Absent the concussions Owusu would likely have been anywhere from a late 1st rounder to a 3rd.

Former Seau teammate Gary Plummer: 'He was crying out for help'

Quote:
"There is no exit strategy from the NFL," Plummer told this newspaper from his San Diego home Thursday. "It's: 'You're done.' You don't even get an apple and a road map."

The former linebacker played beside Seau for four seasons on the San Diego Chargers before Plummer joined the 1994 49ers' Super Bowl-winning team.

On Thursday, Plummer, 52, said he's doing "terrible" a day after Seau's death, which has been ruled a suicide by the San Diego County medical examiner's office. He hopes it brings awareness to the struggles of athletes whose lives so suddenly change upon retirement. Specifically, Plummer wants all departing players to receive mandatory counseling so they can cope with life after football -- something with which Seau apparently struggled, Plummer noted.

"You can grow up and live your childhood dream and be a hometown hero and then feel, 'Is this all there is?' when it's over," Plummer said.

Seau's family has decided to allow researchers to study his brain for evidence of damage as the result of concussions, Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday night.

Mitchell said the family came to the decision to allow Seau's brain to be studied "to help other individuals down the road."

Plummer, a former Cal star, played professionally for 15 seasons, starting with the Oakland Invaders of the USFL from 1983-85. He played with the Chargers from 1986-93 and the 49ers from 1994-97. Plummer estimated he endured 1,000 concussions over his career, which he acknowledges is a startling number.

Said Plummer: "In the 1990s, I did a concussion seminar. They said a Grade 3 concussion meant you were knocked out, and a Grade 1 meant you were seeing stars after a hit, which made me burst out in laughter. As a middle linebacker in the NFL, if you don't have five of these (Grade 1 effects) each game, you were inactive the next game.

"Junior played for 20 years. That's five concussions a game, easily. How many in his career then? That's over 1,500 concussions. I know that's startling, but I know it's true. I had over 1,000 in my 15 years. I felt the effects of it. I felt depression going on throughout my divorce. Junior went through it with his divorce."

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