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.
Thanks for putting this out there after our conversation. Boy, it’s clear that Cleveland messed up big-time with Colt McCoy as well. I just can’t believe the Steelers are leading the league in underdiagnosing and undermanaging these concussions after so many of their alums have fallen to the TBI sequelae. Then again, you live by the sword you die by it. The Steelers identity has been this and apparently they feel the need to exact as much from their employees as they can with no ambiguity. Makes me want to slant the movie slightly differently. Somebody needs to explain publicly that “concussion-like symptoms” is the same as “concussion”. They are playing us as fools and using loopholes. I heard that there are more guys on injured reserve from concussion this year than any other year. Goes to show you how they would continue to keep these guys active before. I’m sure with the rule changes, greater (if inconsistent and very imperfect) enforcement there are not MORE concussions this year. Will be interesting to see if DeMaurice Smith actually does anything about the McCoy situation. The player could not even sit through meetings, but they thought his hand was the problem. If he had not had a concussion after watching his head fly back like a rag doll, I’d say he’s not human.