Urlacher still would lie about concussions
Nov 15, 2012 (Chicago Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
While the Chicago Bears are handling the concussion suffered by quarterback Jay Cutler by following the NFL's protocol for return to play, Cutler's teammate Brian Urlacher maintains he still would lie to team personnel if he believed he'd suffered a concussion.
Cutler's status for Monday's game at San Francisco remains up in the air and Jason Campbell is expected to run the first-team offense in practice Thursday.
Urlacher reiterated his stance on lying about concussions that he first said last season. He went on to say he didn't believe helmets used in the NFL are safe or help reduce concussions. He also questioned the NFL's claim to be safety-conscious because it doesn't adequately protect against cut blocks.
"There are points in every game where you give a hit and you're a little woozy," Urlacher said. "Not every game but mostly every game you hit someone and you're like, 'Whoa, that was a good one.' I don't know how you can lie these days with all the crap they have to see who's concussed and who's not. I don't know how they can tell in the first place.
"I think the helmets aren't very good. I wear an old helmet. Lance (Briggs) wears an old helmet. We don't get concussed. We have some pretty big collisions, we don't get concussed. I think a lot of it has to do with the helmets now and the way they're saying they are better but they must not be because people get more concussions now."
Urlacher said he's not worried about his future and brain injuries and says he's suffered only one major concussion, in 2003 at Denver when he missed "a couple plays."
"I think they shouldn't allow cut blocks because our knees are important to us too," Urlacher said. "I know concussions are a big deal too but I think cut blocks are a big deal but that seems to be OK with the NFL so they're not too concerned about safety. They're concerned about long-term concussions but immediately they are not concerned about your knees or your ankles or anything like that. I think that should be an issue.
"Concussions are taking care of themselves. It's a big deal to everyone because of all of the older players coming back and saying they're all messed up now. That's definitely an issue but I think the cut blocks need to be a big issue as well."
From Urlacher's standpoint, knee injuries caused by cut blocks are a bigger deal than concussions.
"Huge because a knee injury can put you out for a season," he said. "A concussion you may miss a game or two. Huge difference."
Some players would probably disagree with Urlacher. His former teammate Hunter Hillenmeyer retired after the 2010 season after suffering five concussions in his NFL career. The independent neurologist the Bears sent him to recommended he no longer play professional football because of the risks involved.
"You're right," Urlacher said. "That's why you gotta judge if you don't want to play. Don't want to get concussed, don't play. It's your career, it's your life. You have to make that decision on your own. Some guys have shut it down because of that. That's the value of after football, I guess. If I got concussed a lot, I probably wouldn't keep playing."
As far as Cutler, Urlacher said he spoke to him Thursday morning while he was playing ping-pong but wouldn't speculate on whether or not the quarterback will play.
"I've seen him a little bit," defensive tackle Henry Melton said of Urlacher. "He looks like the same ol' Jay. He said he was feeling good."
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