Troy Polamalu admits to lying about concussions

In the last couple of years with all the emphasis put on concussions and the rules about people being out of games because of them, Troy Polamalu has said he’s lied about concussions before to team doctors.  Polamalu was on The Dan Patrick Show the other day and they talked a little bit about concussions and here’s what Troy had to say:

“I’ve had, I believe, eight or nine recorded concussions. We’ll have another conversation after I’m done playing football.   When you get your bell rung they consider that a concussion — I wouldn’t … If that is considered a concussion, I’d say any football player at least records 50 to 100 concussions a year.”

He tried to explain his theories behind lying to medical staff:

“Somebody may say, ‘Is your knee messed up?’ It may be kind of messed up but you just kind of push yourself to be out there with your brothers,” Polamalu said. “I wouldn’t say there are any major lies where I totally lied my way out of concussions. In fact, during concussions, if it’s serious enough you can’t even be conscious enough to lie.”

I don’t think anyone would be shocked to know that players definitely hide concussion symptoms or lie about the severity.  But it’s scary to think that some football players could have “50 to 100 concussions a year”.  I hope that’s a vast overestimate because there is no question that that would definitely take a toll on your mental health down the line.

There is never going to be a Steelers game when you wouldn’t want Troy Polamalu out on the field but I would hate to see him sacrifice himself in that way for a game.  I would much rather see him miss a game here or there and be on the field for a few more years rather than risk further injury that could end his career early.

If you would like to listen to the whole interview where they talk about Batman, Hines Ward joining NBC and tackling you can listen to it here.

  • I think the issue with concussions is that you never fully recover.  You aren’t magically better after a week or two.  To play contact sports at a professional level, this is part of the risk that you incur.  Players have to sacrifice their health to participate in this league.  It’s unfortunate, but it’s the way it is.