Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said Wednesday that head injuries are an “inherent” risk of playing in the NFL.
Appearing on ‘The Colin Cowherd’ podcast on Wednesday, the 25-year-old said that while he’s likely suffered at least one concussion in his career, he hasn’t had any “lasting” effects from injuries to the head.
Burrow admitted that those blows to the head caused him to forget the second half of a game or even the whole game.
“You can make all the rules you want to make the game as safe as possible, but there is inherent risk and danger in football,” Burrow said when asked if these episodes of forgetting games or entire games had created anxiety for the Heisman Trophy winner.
“You have 300 pound men running 20 miles an hour trying to knock your head off while standing still trying to ignore it and find open receivers… That’s part of the game I think . Part of what we signed up for.
“You’re going to get head injuries, you’re going to tear your ACL, you’re going to break your arm. It’s the game we play, it’s the life we live, and we get paid handsomely for it. So I think every game we know what we’re getting into.
Burrow’s comments come just under a week after Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was stretched off the field against the Bengals after sustaining a head injury.
The video showed Tagovailoa’s forearms flexed and his fingers twisted – a sign that CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon, said was a “fencing response” and may be related to brain injury.
Tagovailoa was later diagnosed with a concussion. Four days earlier, Tagovailoa appeared to be suffering from a head injury when his helmet hit the turf and he stumbled to his feet before being taken to the locker room for a concussion check.
The Dolphins initially announced that Tagovailoa was doubtful of returning to the game with a head injury, but he returned to the field in the third quarter and finished the game throwing for 186 yards and a touchdown.
Tagovailoa told reporters after the game that he fell on his back before his head hit the turf, causing his back to lock and the resulting stumble. He added that he was assessed for a concussion, but was ultimately cleared.
The incident led to an investigation by the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) into how Tagovailoa’s injuries were handled, as well as a review of concussion protocols.
On Wednesday, according to a source familiar with discussions between the two sides, updates to the concussion protocol could come as early as Thursday.
“The urgency to do this before tomorrow is that we will have new protocols before Thursday night’s game, and that way we can have the new protocols in place before they play tomorrow night,” the source told CNN Wednesday.
Current protocols prevent a player from returning to the field if they exhibit “gross motor instability” determined to be neurological in origin.
According to the source, the new goal is for any gross motor instability to be cause for removal from the field. “It’s ‘if you see a player fall and not be able to get up from injury, they can’t come back’. That’s really the easiest way to describe it,” the source said. .
The source noted that lawyers for the league and the players’ association are in discussions, including on the definition of gross motor instability.
cnn Sport Gt