Concussion Watch: NFL Head Injuries in Week 12
Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) loses his helmet after being hit by Tennessee Titans free safety Michael Griffin during the second quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. Griffin was penalized on the play and Rivera stayed down for a few minutes before walking off under his own power. He was taken to the locker room and is being evaluated for a head injury. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
As the NFL season enters the home stretch, the league is slowly but surely creeping toward the milestone of 100 concussions. To date, teams have reported a total of 88 concussions on the league’s official injury report. In Week 12, another 12 players appeared to suffer a head injury.
Here’s who we’re keeping an eye on for the next NFL injury report, as well as our roundup of the top concussion-related headlines from the past week:
Omar Bolden, Denver Broncos
Omar Bolden suffered a head injury in punt coverage late in the game during Week 12, making him subject to the NFL’s concussion protocol, ESPN reported. Bolden was also sidelined by a concussion during the 2012 season, but he returned to the Broncos lineup without missing a game.
Brian Bostick, Green Bay Packers
It’s not clear how Brian Bostick was injured in Week 12, but the Packers added him to their first injury report for the week on Monday. “Practice designations are an approximation because the team didn’t actually practice, but had there been a workout, TE Brandon Bostick (concussion), LB Jamari Lattimore (quad) and G Josh Sitton (back) would all have sat out,” the team reported on its website.
If Bostick goes on to play in Week 13, it would mark an especially quick recovery as the Packers will have had just four days in between games. In 2012, at least five players came back from a concussion in just four days, according to our data from Concussion Watch.
Jason Campbell, Cleveland Browns
Three quarterbacks have been sidelined by a concussion during the 2013 season, and in Week 12, Jason Campbell appeared to become number four.
“Campbell … suffered the concussion when William Gay blasted in untouched off a corner blitz and clobbered him in the facemask with his left hand,” reported The Plain Dealer. “Campbell’s head snapped sideways, the ball slipped out, and the back of his head slammed into the frozen ground.”
Coach Rob Chudzinski pressed officials for a roughing penalty, but no flag was thrown on the play. “I felt like he was hit in the head on that,” said Chudzinski. “They didn’t feel that way. [They said he] was hit on the shoulder.”
Johnathan Franklin, Green Bay Packers
Johnathan Franklin started Week 12 by returning the game’s opening kickoff 22 yards, but he was then taken to the locker room for a concussion test, the Packers announced on Twitter. The team later confirmed that Franklin had sustained a concussion and would not return.
Mike Jenkins, Oakland Raiders
Mike Jenkins — along with Mychal Rivera — was one of two Raiders to leave Week 12 early because of a head injury. “Jenkins left with a concussion early in the fourth quarter when he came up to make a tackle on Titans’ running back, Chris Johnson,” according to SBNation.com. “He never lost consciousness and it wasn’t long before he walked off the field under his own power with training staff.”
Trumaine Johnson, St. Louis Rams
Of the three Rams players to leave Week 12 with concussion-like symptoms, Trumaine Johnson’s injury “was the scariest,” wrote ESPN.
Johnson was hurt early in the third quarter while trying to tackle Bears receiver Earl Bennett. The play left him motionless on the field for several moments. Medical staff brought a cart out to wheel Johnson to the locker room, but he was eventually able to walk off under his own power.
Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota Vikings
Xavier Rhodes was one of two Vikings sidelined by a head injury in Week 12. It’s not clear how Rhodes suffered his concussion, but Coach Leslie Frazier confirmed the injury on Monday.
Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders
Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera left Week 12 after a frightening collision that sent his helmet flying from his head. The hit by Titans safety Michael Griffin drew a 15-yard penalty for hitting a defenseless receiver. Griffin was also suspended by the league for one game.
In a message to fans after the game, Rivera tweeted, “Im Good! Its Football and hits happen. Thanks for the support!”
Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams
Zac Stacy was one of three Rams players to leave the field in Week 12 due to a head injury. “Stacy was carrying the ball in the third quarter when he took a hit,” according to SBNation. “Initially he was just listed as questionable, but it was later revealed that the team believed he could have sustained the concussion.”
Darrell Stuckey, San Diego Chargers
Darrell Stuckey was shut down with a concussion in Week 12, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported, his second in as many seasons. Stuckey missed three weeks of action due to a concussion during training camp in 2012, but because the injury took place during the preseason, he was never added to the league injury report.
Joe Webb, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings confirmed on Twitter that receiver Joe Webb was removed from the field in Week 12 with “concussion-like symptoms.” Coach Leslie Frazier said after the game that Webb was day-to-day with the injury.
Along with Xavier Rhodes, Webb was one of two Vikings players to leave Week 12 with a head injury.
Chris Williams, St. Louis Rams
Chris Williams came off the field for the Rams after he suffered a blow to the head while blocking on a running play in the second quarter. “Williams got attention on and off the field before jogging to the locker room along with medical personnel,” the AP reported. The Rams called his return questionable.
Around the League
- A bill that would for the first time establish national standards for preventing, detecting, and treating student athletes who suffer concussions was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and George Miller (D-Calif.). Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate in September. Every year, an estimated 60,000 concussions occur on high school football fields. To date, every state except Mississippi has enacted legislation designed to minimize the risk of football-related head injuries. The bill introduced this week would largely mirror laws already in place in the states.
- A group of 10 former National Hockey League players brought a class-action lawsuit on Monday alleging that the league has not done enough to protect players from concussions. The suit claims that the NHL either knew or should have known about scientific evidence showing that players who suffer repeat head injuries are at an increased risk of brain-related illnesses later in life. The suit comes just three months after the NFL agreed to a $765 million settlement with more than 4,500 retired players who have accused the league of concealing a link between traumatic brain injury and professional football.