Through some excellent reporting by Alex Marvez, a report surfaced that some NFL players might be sandbagging the baseline testing used to determine concussion effects and steps during the season.
The baseline concussion test is used by the NFL to enforce a strict policy of concussion handling. The NFL has long been plagued by many in the media and former players for not taking a proactive stance when it comes to concussion effects.
At the end of February, the league released guidelines that all teams must follow to determine a baseline indicator against future concussions.
One of the doctors in the release said:
The hardest thing about taking care of a concussion is its evaluation, its assessment, because it’s not like you have a bone sticking out of the skin or something. So it’s not always easy to diagnose, and we just want everybody doing it the same way.
So, you have a baseline performance test without a concussion that is used to determine the effects of a possible concussion later. Check.
The problem is Dr. Daniel Amen, a noted expert in the field and a doctor to NFL players, says:
I’ve had a number of players tell me they purposely do bad on the testing to start so if they get a concussion it doesn’t affect them. We need to educate them that this is a really dumb idea, that it’s the rest of their life that they’re playing with.
NFL players seem to believe that being in the game at all costs means more for the livelihood than the long term effects of a concussion. I don’t have an issue with this from a personal standpoint, but there has to be a better way of educating the NFL players to the long term effects.