Aaron Rodgers says NFL’s biggest concussion obstacle is players themselves

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — To Aaron Rodgers Jerseys, the biggest challenge the NFL faces in dealing with concussions is the players themselves, with their play-through-the-pain mentality — even now, with all the information about the dangers of head injuries.

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“The biggest obstacle, I think, would be the mindset of players,” the Green Bay Packers Jerseys Jerseys quarterback said in an interview with Bill Simmons on HBO’s “Any Given Wednesday,” taped earlier in the week. “They have people who watch every player, there’s one up in the booth and then we have a number of doctors on the sidelines watching concussions. The helmets and the pads are as safe as I think you can possibly get them at this point.

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“But players feeling comfortable self-monitoring [is still an issue]. And, if you have one, telling somebody about it.”

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Asked later in the interview if he thought the league was behind the curve on the dangers of concussions, Rodgers replied in part, “Everything’s kind of a little bit behind when it deals with money. And that’s the driver in our sport. Unfortunately, we need to get out in front of it and do more.”

As an example of players not reporting their concussions, Rodgers cited retired Detroit Lions Jerseys Jerseys wide receiver Calvin Johnson Jerseys, who in an interview with ESPN’s Michael Smith on E:60 said earlier this month that “I definitely had my fair share” of concussions that he didn’t report.

“When you’re competitive the last thing you want to do is come out of a game, regardless of what kind of injury it is — whether it’s an ankle, a knee, a rib or a head injury,” Rodgers told Simmons. “You know that the head injury is obviously more dangerous, but it’s that mindset of wanting to play through those things and until that mindset changes, there’s going to be guys like Calvin who come out and say, ‘Yeah, I played through a lot of concussions.'”

Rodgers has endured two reported concussions, both during the 2010 season.

He suffered the first on a helmet-to-helmet hit on his final pass of an overtime loss at Washington in Week 5. Rodgers absorbed a helmet-to-helmet hit on a throw that was intercepted by LaRon Landry Jerseys, setting up the Redskins Jerseys’ game-winning field goal. Rodgers told Simmons that after the collision, “one eye went metallic. I could only see out of my right eye. … It was like metallic, it was silver metallic.”

Rodgers was able to play the following week, although it’s unclear whether he would have gone back into the game had the Packers Jerseys’ defense held and gotten the ball back to the offense.

Rodgers, who would go on to lead the Packers Jerseys to the Super Bowl XLV title that season, suffered his second concussion on a scramble against Detroit in Week 14. He missed the following week’s game at New England but returned to lead the Packers Jerseys to a pair of victories to close out the regular season and clinch the final NFC playoff spot.


“The second one, I was knocked out for a split second and then I got up and my chinstrap was across my nose and you could see Gene Steratore, one of my favorite referees, and he kind of comes over to me and he’s like, ‘Hey, you OK?’ And I don’t remember this, but I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m fine, I’m fine,'” Rodgers recounted. “So there was a timeout called, I went over to the sideline, I waved off [the medical staff], ‘I’m good, I’m good.’

“It’s kind of what’s just built into you. And then I went back out there for a couple plays, I couldn’t call the plays and we ended up getting me out of there.”

Rodgers said he and coach Mike McCarthy still joke about one of the plays he stayed in for, a play-action fake on which he had a receiver wide-open for a touchdown.

“The only thing I remember from that sequence, I was under center and I didn’t know if it was a run or a pass,” Rodgers said. “Mike and I laugh about this [now]. It’s not funny to play through a concussion — it’s not safe, I wouldn’t recommend it — [but] we laugh because it was a hard play fake to the right and I had the post [receiver] wide-open for a touchdown. But I didn’t know if it was a run or a pass, so I kind of moved backward, and then held it and got sacked and that was it. I came out of the game.”

Asked by Simmons if he believes the concussion problem will ever be solved, Rodgers pivoted the conversation to the need to address treatment of players who’ve suffered multiple concussions. Rodgers called on “the scientific community to step up and lead the way there, because I know there’s some ideas that are in trial right now for using with guys who have suffered [concussions]. That’s what we need. Because we can’t have any more situations like we’ve had the last 10 years, where you’re having guys either take their own lives or end up passing [away].

“We need to take a look at the back end [of players’ lives] and how we’re taking care of guys who are moving on who’ve dealt with a lot of head injuries.”

Jalen Ramsey on his NFL position: “Corner”

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CHICAGO, Ill. — Jalen Ramsey doesn’t know what team will call his name during Thursday night’s NFL Draft. He does know exactly what position he wants to play at the next level.

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“Corner,” Ramsey replied with no hesitation when Around The NFL asked what position he hopes to anchor in the NFL.

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It’s the correct response, even if only from a monetary perspective. The franchise tag for corners in 2016 was nearly $14 million. It was $10.8 million for safeties.

Standing next to the wide-shouldered, 6-foot-1 cover man, Ramsey doesn’t look like a corner. He looks closer to a linebacker. Some believe the rookie will transition to safety while sliding to corner in certain coverages. Having the size to tackle along with quick hips needed to cover, Ramsey could be the perfect hybrid player becoming more common in today’s NFL.

Speaking Wednesday morning at an NFL Play 60 Clinic in Chicago, Ramsey insisted he wants to play on the outside, but will line up wherever asked.

“I will play anywhere a team wants me to play, just like I did in college it doesn’t matter to me. I want to play ball,” he admitted.

Ramsey has been rumored as high as the No. 1 pick, when his hometown team Tennessee Titans Jerseys owned the selection. The corner said he believes the Titans would have selected him at No. 1 if they held onto that selection. Now he is fine being taken at any pick.


“It doesn’t matter how high I go. It doesn’t matter if I go at three or 33 or wherever,” Ramsey said. “This has all been my dream…I’ll be happy regardless.”

NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said Tuesday that he’s hearing Ramsey being connected to the Cowboys at No. 4. That is a scenario the corner called “a dream situation, literally a dream come true” after rooting for the ‘Boys growing up.

Whether it’s in practice or a game, Ramsey called Dez Bryant Jerseys the receiver he most wants to cover.

“I just like his mindset, his competitiveness, people call it cocky, call it confident, you can call it arrogant, you can call it whatever you want,” Ramsey said of Bryant. “He’s one of the best receivers in the game and that’s always been the guy who I wanted to go up against, whether it’s in practice or the game.”

It’s that type of mentality Ramsey believe he owns.

“You can call me cocky, you can call me arrogant, but I know what I am,” he said. “I’m humble, I’m just confident in my abilities. I have no reason to not be confident. I play defensive back. You have to be confident playing defensive back. Period.”

Philadelphia Eagles lose starting offensive tackle to 10-game suspension

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It has been a strange offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys Jerseys. Training camp doesn’t feel much different.

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The news took a dark turn on Tuesday when reports came out that starting right tackle Lane Johnson Jerseys, the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, will be suspended 10 games.

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Johnson now has been suspended twice, hence the extended leave. He was suspended for the four games of the 2014 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. It’s not known if Johnson plans to appeal.

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View photosPhiladelphia Eagles Jerseys Jerseys tackle Lane Johnson Jerseys has been suspended again, this time for 10 games (Getty Images).More

When he has played, starting all 44 games he was eligible to play in, Johnson has been mostly excellent, even shifting over to left tackle for two games while Jason Peters Jerseys was hurt. Despite the previous suspension, the Eagles Jerseys even signed Johnson to a five-year extension worth up to $63 million, with $35.5 million in guarantees, back in January.


Clearly, this has to frustrate an Eagles Jerseys front office and coaching staff that’s trying to wipe away the bad vibes of a lost 2015 season and also having shed other dead money in the past several months. But based on the terms of the extension, the Eagles Jerseys might be able to keep from paying out a portion of that $35.5 million based on the suspension.

Johnson has put the team in a tough spot. If there’s a tiny silver lining it’s the there are only three division games in those first 10 games, but six of those contests would be on the road. If the suspension holds up, Johnson would be eligible to return Week 12 — a Monday night home game against the Green Bay Packers Jerseys Jerseys.

The Eagles Jerseys released their first depth chart of the summer on Monday, and Johnson’s backups were listed as Dennis Kelly Jerseys and Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Kelly, a fifth-round pick in 2012, replaced Johnson at right tackle when he shifted over last season and also has played guard. Of Kelly’s 15 starts in four seasons, nine have come at right tackle. Vaitai was a fifth-rounder this year, a two-time All Big 12 player out of TCU who played left and right tackle in college.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Antonio Brown diagnosed with concussion


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One of the dumbest and most costly penalties in recent NFL history resulted in receiver Antonio Brown Jerseys suffering a concussion.

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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin announced after the Steelers’ wild-card victory over Cincinnati that Brown was concussed on a late hit by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict Jerseys. Burfict was called for a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness with 22 seconds left after taking a late shot to Brown’s head. The ball had clearly gone by Brown before the hit. Bengals cornerback Adam Jones Jerseys was called for a subsequent unsportsmanlike penalty that set up the Steelers’ game-winning field goal.

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If Burfict hadn’t committed the penalty, the Bengals were in great discount nfl jerseys shape to win the game. The Steelers were at midfield with only 18 seconds left, trailing by one. Instead, the Steelers will be moving on to the Divisional Round in Denver.

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Brown’s availability for that game, not to mention Ben Roethlisberger Jerseys’s health, will be a dominant story line in the coming week.

Aldon Smith checks into rehab following suspicious video

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Suspended Oakland Raiders Jerseys Jerseys pass rusher Aldon Smith Jerseys, who must sit out the 2016 season, has checked himself into rehab, according to TMZ.

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This news broke after a Periscope video surfaced with a man believed to be Smith (although he was never pictured) appears to be smoking an unknown substance and discussing a “fire-up session” off camera. Smith then went to Twitter to say it wasn’t him in the video.

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View photos Aldon Smith Jerseys (AP) More

Perhaps not, but he’s clearly addressing some issue. It’s not evident what Smith is being treated for this time. He previously went to rehab in 2013 following two DUIs. Smith also was in court on a probation violation in June.

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The NFL is looking into the video, according to an ESPN report. The NFL’s substance abuse policy prohibits players who are suspended from participating in any illegal activity, and if they’re found guilty they are subject to even stiffer punishment.


Will Smith, still only 26 years old, ever get the help he needs? The Raiders Jerseys hold out hope after Smith’s brief flashes of brilliance with them, but Smith’s first team, the San Francisco 49ers Jerseys Jerseys, already gave up on him after a string of concerning incidents.

His NFL career hangs in the balance, and Smith has to decide if his well being is important and he ever wants to play in the league again.

The positive developments for suspended players Josh Gordon Jerseys and Dion Jordan Jerseys returning to the league bodes well for Smith — but only if he sees his treatment through fully.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Follow @Eric_Edholm