• Nerve-Whacked: Vikings Hits Have Slowed Megatron

    Touchdown rates are very hard things to keep consistent for wide receivers and tight ends. Just ask Laurent Robinson and Mercedes Lewis; who played for the Jaguars last night. Any fantasy football player and any Detroit Lion fan can tell stories about how the lack of touchdowns from Calvin Johnson has been maddening (I just couldn't help it, sorry). As it turns out, all of those people can blame the Minnesota Vikings.

    So, nerve damage is the issue for the superstar wideout. Nerve damage is why Matt Stafford still has not thrown a touchdown to him this season. His lone tally came with Shuan Hill playing relief for an injured Stafford in the Tennessee game.

    Of course, the explanation that Johnson gave for the resulting effects of the hits by Harrison Smith and Chad Greenway is not the only story here. He also gave a little nugget about how the hit from Greenway resulted in a concussion (and a $21,000 fine for the Minnesota linebacker). Jim Schwartz refuted the claim:

    Johnson said he suffered a concussion from the Greenway hit, though Lions coach Jim Schwartz said for the second time today that wasn’t the case.
    The Minnesota game was on September 30. The Lions were lucky to have their bye week on October 7th. If not, the Lions would be answering questions about the validity of each statement. I am fine with the explanation of the nerve injury; but am not fine with the contradicting statements between the player and the coach. I think that is evidence that the murky world of NFL injuries and concussions is not changing at all.

    Comments 5 Comments
    1. biggittyb's Avatar
      Same thing with Jamal Charles who last week suffered a 'head' injury vs the Chargers. He said the next day he is glad they didn't diagnosis it as a concussion or else he would not be playing Monday night versus the Steelers. But yeah very murky when its a concussion or not a concussion
    1. Curtis's Avatar
      The NFL should mandate that all players suffering a blow to the head should sit out the duration of the game and the following game. They promote player safety but teams and players are going to circumvent the system whenever possible. Suspending play for 1 full game will allow recovery from the injury. That's the only way I can see for the NFL to make good on the concussion problems.
      The NFL takes a hardline when it comes to penalizing and fining players for blows to the head in the interest of safety. Some calls are right and some are bad but at least they err on the side of safety. At the same time they allow teams to make judgement calls on whether or not a player is able to return to the game. Seems more like the NFL is covering it's ass and putting the liability on the team and it's players.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar

      Translation: Some higher-up let me know that I should never do interviews and discuss my injuries in them. I was reminded that the team has to release an injury report and all injuries are addressed by the coaching staff during pressers. As a player, I should remember to talk about the game, myself, support teammates and allow all the back room stuff to remain back room stuff. This definitely applies to injury questions. I need to respond with the words "I'm fine," "I'm feeling good," or "I am not sure yet, I have to ask the doc if I can go."

      The last thing the public needs to know is that concussions are not being dealt with properly at the player/team level. They certainly do not need to know that the tests we run on the sidelines are not proven to be the proper test for concussion since little research has been done on them except by the organization that created the test.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Calvin Johnson has been tackled inside the 2 yard line on 6 occasions this year, which also helps explain his lack of TDs.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      A big hit from... Harrison Smith? Ha! (I'm enjoying milking this thing!)

      I agree completely that the sideline test is weak, if not downright bogus. Problem is, from what I can see brain science is in the dark ages. It's not that they're deliberately using weak tests; it's that they don't know what tests they should be using.
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