Are Pittsburgh Steelers’ officials deluding themselves, or are they just plain stupid and reckless, in their cavalier attitude about the two recent head injuries that player Troy Polamalu sustained?
Sports writer Mike Bires of the Beaver County Times did a nice job of outlining the disturbing way that the Steelers organization is treating Polamalu.
Within the past six weeks Polamalu, who has sustained multiple concussions since high school, took blows to the head twice. The Steelers said that Polamalu had been exhibiting “concussion-like symptoms,” according to Bires.
But team medical officials and the organization are claiming that Polamalu no longer has those symptoms, and may be ready to take the field again. Bires, and we, are pretty skeptical about that.
If it looks like a snake and moves like a snake, it’s snake. If the symptoms sound like a concussion, two times in a row within six weeks, we’d hazard to guess that it is not just a “coincidence,” which is what someone from the Steelers told a reporter, according to Bires. It sounds like concussions, not coincidence.
On Oct. 16, Polamalu took a bad it to the head and was benched. He called his wife to say he was OK, Bires reported. But just a week later, Polamalu was back playing.
People seem to be taking Polamalu’s future health very lightly. It’s common knowledge that the effect of concussions on the brain is cumulative, and it is damaging. And Polamalu has had a frightening number of concussions, seven, already from high school to present, according to Bires.
And that is not counting the past two hits that sound a lot like concussions to us. Polamalu still has to undergo more concussion tests this week before he is cleared to play, so we’ll see what happens.
Bire’s summed up Polamalu’s situation pretty well in his story, talking about the 30-year-old player’s two toddler sons, his $10.5 million bonus for signing a new deal this fall and his $6.4 million base salary.
“Considering his history with concussions and these two ‘concussion-like’ injuries the past six weeks, you have to wonder if he’ll still be playing in 2014, the last year of his existing contract,” Bires wrote. “Most importantly, Polamalu can only hope that these latest ‘concussion-like’ head blows don’t lead to anything more serious in the future.”
Don’t bet on it.