Earlier this month, NFL commish Roger Goodell issued a league-wide memo that called for stricter limits on concussed players returning to NFL games. Goodell has also hired independent neurologists to assess players with head injuries to prevent a possible forced and premature return to action. Already, we’ve seen a handful of players this year – Brian Wesbrook, Kurt Warner, etc. – sit out games they normally might have returned to.
This brings us to DeMarcus Ware. Good news for you, Cowboys fans. Ware may be allowed to play in the big game against New Orleans this week. The bad news, of course, is that Ware may be allowed to play in the big game against New Orleans this week.
Coach Wade Phillips says Ware is not suffering from any concussion symptoms, and that Ware’s injury is a relatively benign sprained neck. That’s all well and good. Still, there’s something extremely disconcerting about the idea of Ware playing again so soon after getting crowned in the helmet and taken off the field in a neck brace and stretcher. Obviously, this is an important game. But is it worth the risk of having Ware rush back onto the field six days after everyone thought he had pulled a Mike Utley out there?
I’m no doctor (except in Grenada), but I think it should be a simple rule that if you are carried off the field, immobilized on a stretcher, you should NOT be allowed to play the following week. It’s just common sense. The Cowboys say Ware only has a sprained neck. But really, do you believe anything any NFL team says about any injury in the era of Belichick? I don’t.
Ware should sit. It may cost the Cowboys to do it. But the last thing you want to see after a player is carted out on a stretcher is that same player hitting people a week later.