The League

Mackie Shilstone
Sports Performance Manager, MA, MBA

Mackie Shilstone

Executive Director, The Fitness Principle with Mackie Shilstone at East Jefferson General Hospital

A train wreck


When you think about the a train wreck, one has a vision of devastation caused by two helmets colliding at a high rate of speed. Such wrecks (concussions) have become, unfortunately, all too common this year in the N.F.L.

At one point this season, we had 11 players out with concussions and an additional eight out with head injuries. One such player, with multiple concussions, is Eagles running back Brian Westbrook, who according to the Delaware County Times, is potentially set to return to action this week.

Westbrook has missed four straight games and six out of the last seven games as a result of the trauma associated with concussions. The medical literature defines a concussion as "a trauma to the head which induces alterations in mental status that may or may not involve loss of consciousness."

The only treatment for a concussion, according to medical experts, is " time and rest." The real question for Brain Westbrook, and only Brain Westbrook, is whether to return to the playoff hunt with the Eagles.

With the risk of the Second or should I say Third Impact Syndrome in mind, Westbrook is at greater risk of suffering another concussion, if he puts his head down to butt heads for that extra yardage, if the game is on the line.

Here lies the key point. Westbrook is a paid, competitive athlete in a very physical game. The only way to take the athlete out of the athlete is by taking away his game. I am not sure you can expect Brian to make that choice.

It becomes the team's decision to either sit him down or stand him up to play. I think the team will let him play, because football is a business built on one philosophy -- play until it hurts and don't tell me if it does.

Hopefully, Brian will decide when enough is enough, before he meets that ultimate wreck that few recover from and are left with few words to recount the memories of the game.

By Mackie Shilstone  |  December 16, 2009; 10:34 AM ET  | Category:  Medical , Philadelphia Eagles Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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