Concussion Watch: NFL Head Injuries in Week 9
Follow @jbrezlowNovember 5, 2013, 12:51 pm ET
The second half of the NFL season began last Thursday with teams having reported a total of 62 concussions on the league’s official injury report — five fewer than at the same point last season. Since our last Concussion Watch update, at least eight more players appeared to go down with a head injury.
Meanwhile, a new study raised concerns about the risk of brain injury in high school football, while NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told a gathering of football moms outside of Chicago that “there’s never been a safer time” to play the sport.
Here are the eight injuries we’ll be watching for when the week 10 injury reports come out later this week, as well as our latest round-up of concussion-related headlines from the past week:
Red Bryant & Max Unger, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks lost two players to concussions in Week 9 — defensive end Red Bryant and center Max Unger.
Seattle tweeted midway through the game that Unger had suffered a concussion, but Head Coach Pete Carroll said he did not find out about Bryant’s injury until Monday.
“Max had a good day [Monday],” Carroll said. “He got hit in the head [in Sunday's game] and Red did as well, as we found out today. They both will go through the [concussion] protocol to see if they are able to return [to play this weekend]. We’ll take great care in making those decisions.”
Nolan Carroll, Miami Dolphins
Nine weeks into the 2013 season, the Miami Dolphins are just one of four NFL teams that have yet to report a single concussion. That may soon change, as ESPN reported that backup cornerback Nolan Carroll suffered a head injury in the second quarter of Miami’s Week 9 win over the Bengals and did not return.
T.J. Lang, Green Bay Packers
Midway through their Week 9 loss to Chicago, the Packers announced on Twitter that guard T.J. Lang had suffered a concussion and was out for the remainder of the game.
The concussion was the second for Lang in as many seasons. Lang left the Packers’ Week 15 game in 2012 with a concussion, but did not miss any playing time despite the injury.
Phil Loadholt, Minnesota Vikings
In Week 9, Phil Loadholt became the second Vikings player to be sidelined by a head injury this season. Minnesota’s starting right tackle was hurt near the end of the first half on Sunday, and Coach Leslie Frazier told reporters it is unlikely he will be healthy enough to play for the Vikings in their next game on Thursday night.
“It will be very difficult for him to pass the NFL protocol on a short week,” Frazier said. “I don’t know very many guys that do.”
In 2012, at least five players came back from a concussion in just four days, data from FRONTLINE’s Concussion Watch project shows. In all, 2012 saw a total of 161 players added to a team injury report because of a concussion. In 86 cases, an injured player was back on the field for their team’s very next game.
Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints
Saints running back Darren Sproles headed to the locker room early in the first quarter of Week 9 with what was initially described as an ankle injury, according to The Sporting News.
The Saints later announced that Sproles had been diagnosed with a concussion, ruling him out for good midway through the second quarter. It’s not clear when he was hurt, but as ESPN reported, “Sproles left the game after taking a big hit on a 2-yard reception during the Saints’ opening drive.”
Ike Taylor & Vince Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers
Ike Taylor was one of two Steelers to exit Week 9 with a head injury, coach Mike Tomlin confirmed after the game. Linebacker Vince Williams was the second.
Around the League
A general view of the interior of Arrowhead Stadium during a week 1 NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Missouri on September 9, 2012. The Falcons defeated the Chiefs 40-24. (AP Photo/Scott Boehm)
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