• Je'Rod Cherry Criticizes Bears and Cutler for Following New Protocols



    The Bears and Jay Cutler are under fire again after a high-profile injury incident during a national telecast. The heat is not coming from the league, Maurice Jones-Drew or the Fox cameras, but from ESPN 850 radio personality Je'Rod Cherry. Cherry, a former three-time Super Bowl winner with the Patriots, stated words to the effect that Cutler should have forced himself back into the game against the Texans because it had playoff implications.

    I don't think it should be surprising that the words were spoken by a player whose career ended by 2004 and was in the NFL when the league itself was trying to deny any effects of concussions, but I do think the statements show two problems with how players can think in the NFL.

    First, the comments show that there are some players that exist, whether they have been in the league since 2004 or not, who think that a player on their team could possibly considered weak for not returning with a diagnosed concussion. I have to believe that Cherry is not the only former player to feel this way and that there are current players out there with the same thoughts. Do some players in the league still believe old rhetoric? There has to be another sect of players who know the risks and do not care and blindly follow the gladiator culture.

    Secondly, what about the fact that the Bears followed the protocol that the league stated with their letter to teams about concussions in 2011? The NFL stated that a concussed played should not re-enter the field of play. The phrase of the week from the letter was "When in doubt, leave them out." Does Cherry think it is okay for teams to ignore the letter or does he think that the players should be lying when they aren't? What if the player never asked for the test and the team conducted it because the medical staff thought they should? Is the player in question still a pansy?

    Unfortunately, the conversation above never occurred when the co-host changed the subject quickly to discuss another game. I missed if it was brought up again later when I had to get out the car for a meeting. Still, I feel that the fact the words were even said is proof that the culture around the league cannot change unless the players are on board.


    RELATED:
    I found this article interesting about the language still being used about NFL head injuries, uh, concussions: http://www.slate.com/articles/sports...o_survive.html

    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Already an edit:

      The 2011 memo dealt with NFL medical personnel being at the games.

      The memo changing the concussion rules from "knockouts" to symptoms was in 2009:

      http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=090...s&confirm=true
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      NFL concluded that they liked how the Bears handled Cutler:

      http://espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/story...col-jay-cutler
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Jay can't win. You'd think he did something to these guys mothers.

      Regarding the players: remeber in 08 or 09 when Ben missed a game against the Ravens because of a concussion and Hines Ward basically called him out for it. That was right before the concussion thing started grabbing steam, and Ben was pulled by the staff. Polamalu himself has said that he probabaly would hide simptoms. Some players say they got a stinger or something and try to walk it off. I think it's changing, slowly, as the older guard phases out. I'm still sure a lot of OL are getting concussed and not realizing it.


      Jay got a lot of time with the review to shake the cobwebs (Cris commented on the fact), and apparently didn't start showing symptoms until after a while. This is a common situation (maybe not frequent) with concussions.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      I have tried to no avail to find audio of that conversation. ESPN 850 does not post "The Really Big Show" in it's entirety.
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      Part of his problem is that he spells his name "Je'rod." WTF does that even mean, anyway?
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      I found Warner's comments about doing better on the imPACT test than his baseline to be interesting. It gives some credence to my thoughts that more tests need to be done on the tests that test for concussions.

      http://espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/story...sit-feel-right
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