San Diego Chargers left tackle King Dunlap suffered his third concussion of the season in Week 10. That is three devastating blows to the head and he will probably try to come back again this season. That means he could be at risk for a fourth concussion in just one season.
With all the news surrounding concussions and CTE, the NFL should consider placing players on a mandatory injury reserve status when so many concussions happen in so little time.
Dunlap came back just a few weeks after his initial concussion this season and in his first game back immediately suffered another one. Red flags should have gone up, but there is no set time that a player has to sit out. A player must pass baseline concussion testing the week prior to returning, however, those test do not have an indicator of how susceptible the player is to become injured again.
Based on how bad the injury was that caused the concussion, fighters are suspended from fighting for an amount of time determined by the ringside doctor. For example a fighter may be suspended 90 days before he is allowed to compete again due to severity of his concussion.
The NFL should consider a policy where based on the severity of a player’s concussion, the team’s doctor or an independent doctor on the sideline could rule a player out for a certain length of time. The team would then be allowed to place the player on a special injured list with a designation to return so they could activate another player to the active 53 man roster.
A rule of this magnitude could be met by strong opposition from the player’s union, but all they need to do is read the reports of Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett. A report in the LA Times revealed Dorsett has signs of CTE. He is only 59 and is beginning to show early signs of dementia. The players may not think about their quality of life after football, but the league should be concerned for them.
Photo Courtesy: K.C. Alfred