Something to worry for Eric Smith

Discussion in 'New York Jets' started by MexJetinBcn, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. MexJetinBcn

    MexJetinBcn New Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Dont know if this had been posted, but scary shit.

    NFL-conducted study on head injuries renders findings on dementia that hit home for Jets' Eric Smith
    BY Ohm Youngmisuk

    Thursday, October 1st 2009, 4:00 AM

    Eric Smith is floored after his helmet-to-helmet hit that shattered Anquan Boldin's face.

    Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin (l.) and Jets safety Eric Smith collide last year on helmet-to-helmet hit that leaves Smith unconscious. Related News
    Chiefs having trouble on offensive line
    Giants rushing to quiet critics
    Mark's style is hard to handle
    Clowney practice Tweets Ryan
    Reyes needs hammy repair, return up in air

    Weeks after his terrifying helmet-to-helmet collision that shattered Anquan Boldin's face last year, Eric Smith thought he was fine after passing his NFL-mandated baseline testing for concussions.

    But Smith's girlfriend began to notice that the Jets safety would almost always tip something over each time he reached into the refrigerator to grab food.

    "We didn't really pick up on it right away," Smith said. "But then my girlfriend said, 'Why do you keep knocking stuff over?' I was just thinking I was being clumsy."

    Smith, 26, ended up sitting out six games last season after suffering multiple concussions in the span of four weeks. Even though he passed his baseline tests - which mostly have to do with remembering numbers and words and cognitive issues - following his collision with Boldin on Sept. 28 last year and felt good enough to return to action immediately after his one-game suspension for the helmet-to-helmet hit, Smith wasn't right.

    The Jets safety feels no post-concussion symptoms now, nearly a year later, but he was concerned Wednesday when told about a new study commissioned by the NFL that reported Alzheimer's disease and other similar memory-related conditions appear to have been diagnosed in retired players at an alarming rate.

    According to a report in the New York Times, a detailed summary of the NFL study conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research revealed that 6.1% of players age 50 or older reported that they had dementia-related diagnosis, which is five times higher than the national average of 1.2%. Players who are 30 through 49 displayed a rate of 1.9%, which is 19 times that of the national average (0.1%). The study surveyed 1,063 retired players by phone in late 2008 and asked about a variety of health topics.

    The study has not been peer-reviewed yet, which makes it difficult to assess the accuracy, two experts cautioned Wednesday.

    "I haven't seen the study but I'm very skeptical at this time because of lack of peer review and assessment," said Dr. Michael Apuzzo, principal neurosurgical consult for USC and the Giants and an unpaid adviser to the NFL's committee on head injury. "There is no doubt this is a highly important topic and we need to do more studies (involving more) scientific and medical experts to see if this study is valid. A long-term study of NFL patients is being done that will come out in a couple of years and that study will be the best study when it comes out on this issue. That study is as tight as you can make it."

    The NFL, which has held a concussion symposium with neurological experts from all over the country, is trying to tackle the hot-button issue of head injuries after numerous retired players have complained about suffering memory loss and other debilitating conditions from football.

    It is currently conducting a detailed study of 120 retired players, and all neurological examinations are being handled by Dr. Ira Casson, a co-chairman of the concussions committee. Casson has reportedly denied any evidence linking football to dementia-related conditions.

    "The survey did not diagnose dementia but relied on self-reporting or family proxy reporting on a retired player's memory and it also noted that diseases of memory are rare in both the general population and NFL retirees," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said about the Michigan study. "Despite those facts, the study recommends further research based on the reported numbers, and that already is underway. Memory disorders affect many men and women who never played football or other sports. We are trying to understand it as it relates to our retired players. The survey makes no link between concussions and memory disorders."

    Former Giant Harry Carson, who said he has suffered between 12 and 18 concussions, believes the NFL needs to address the issue of head injuries and the effects they have had on retired players.

    "What was reported is something so many guys already know," Carson said. "The mere fact it was commissioned by the NFL, it's their study and they are still downplaying it, is another issue. We are disappointed the NFL is going to find a way to sugarcoat it or (say) we need to do further studies, or there is no validity to it, or whatever. But the reality is we know that it's real. We deal with it every day."

    Several players said they believe that the equipment used today helps curb the type of head trauma that players suffered decades ago.

    Following the hit on Boldin, which left him unconscious initially, Smith served a one-game suspension and then returned to play the following week against Oakland. He then played a half against Kansas City the ensuing week before being held out in the second half for what then-coach Eric Mangini said were precautionary reasons after Smith absorbed a glancing blow to the head. Smith suffered a second concussion sometime during those two games and then missed the following six weeks before playing in the final three games of the season.

    Smith, who now wears a highly cushioned Riddell Revolution Speed helmet, which he calls the "Cadillac" of all helmets, says he feels great and that he will continue to play without any hesitation. But he acknowledges that the study by the University of Michigan is a bit unsettling.

    "That is a little scary because I know last year there were some times when I was worried about it," Smith said. "It wasn't really my memory, it was more motor skills that I was having problems with. It was a little scary at times, but when I finally sat out those six weeks and everything started to come back to normal, everything was fine after that. I don't really think about it too much now."
  2. TheCoolerGlennFoley

    TheCoolerGlennFoley Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    Likes Received:
    I really don't know the answer to this dilemma. With how big and fast players are now, violent collisions are par for the course. Even if you improve helmets, when a hit happens the head stops and the brain keeps moving. I think it just might be one of those things that is always going to be a risk for players and that's why they get paid so much.
  3. Don

    Don 2008 TGG Rich Kotite "Least Knowledgeable" Award W

    Mar 7, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Sounds like the NFL need much bigger and better helmets like MLB is going to now. I'm sure they can make a concussion resistant helmet if baseball can make one that will help with a 92 MPH fastball. I'm surprised there hasn't been any talk about it with all the NFL players getting severe concussions every year now.
  4. MadBacker Prime

    MadBacker Prime THE Dead Rabbit

    Apr 16, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Maybe take a page from David Wright's Playbook-
  5. nycztonee

    nycztonee Active Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Likes Received:
    hahaha that is too funny.
  6. Footballgod214

    Footballgod214 Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2005
    Likes Received:
    it must be tough sizing up nfl players years after they retire because you got players like gholsten that can't remember two plays in a row when they're young and healthy.

    edit...yeah yeah i know, he missed a few weeks of training camp my bad.
  7. biggundewayne63

    biggundewayne63 Active Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    Likes Received:
    i played high school and college ball and im fine. what was this thread about again?
  8. NDmick

    NDmick Revis Christ

    Apr 1, 2007
    Likes Received:
    its about guys who were good enough to make it to the pros and how big hits affect NFL players after their careers.

Share This Page