View Full Version : Latest concussion shouldn't slow Polamalu

10-22-2008, 03:27 AM
Latest concussion shouldn't slow Polamalu
By Scott Brown
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Despite sustaining his seventh football-related concussion in the Steelers' 38-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, strong safety Troy Polamalu is expected to play Sunday against the New York Giants at Heinz Field.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said results from tests the four-time Pro Bowler has taken since last Sunday are "favorable at this point."

Polamalu, he said, will try to practice today.

"As of right now we anticipate him playing (against the Giants)," Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference.

Concussions were an issue for Polamalu even before the Steelers took him in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

He had five in high school and college. This is the second one the former USC standout has gotten as a Steeler.

A concussion knocked Polamalu out of a November 2006 game against the New Orleans Saints, but he played the following week in Cleveland.

Leading up to that Browns game, Polamalu downplayed the cumulative effect the series of concussions might have on him. He said tests he had taken at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center showed he did not subject himself to any additional risks by continuing to play.

"Although I've had a history (of concussions), my brain shows to be as if I had never had any at all," Polamalu told the Tribune-Review at the time. "As a matter of fact, they were going to take pictures on how a perfect brain looks and how a brain from somebody that suffers from concussions should look, and they said I was a candidate for the perfectly normal."

Dr. Julian Bailes, medical director of the Center for Study of Retired Athletes, said some people might be more adversely affected by concussions than others.

But the Center for Study of Retired Athletes, whose research has been sponsored by the NFL Players' Association since 2000, has set three as a sort of baseline number when it comes to concussions. After a player has sustained three concussions during his NFL career, he opens himself to both short-term and long-term risks, according to Bailes' group.

That number has been disputed, and Bailes said the issue of concussions and their effects is still a murky one that requires additional research.

"I do think there's a threshold number with repetitive concussions that you worry about three things: his play this season, the lowering of his threshold for concussions and the potential for long-term, cumulative effects on his brain," said Bailes, who also chairs West Virginia University's department of neurosurgery. "I'm not certain if three is the number or five is the number or whatever."

Tomlin said the Steelers will have their team doctors make the call on whether Polamalu plays in Sunday's 4:15 p.m. game.

The Steelers use a series of tests to gauge where a player is mentally and physically after he has sustained a concussion.

The tests measure reaction time, visual and verbal memory and hand-eye coordination.

Players' scores are compared to ones they posted when they took the tests while healthy. Bailes said it is difficult to score well on the tests, parts of which are timed, for anyone still suffering from the effects of a concussion.

Polamalu, who leads the Steelers with three interceptions, has never shied away from collisions on the field.

That style of play has made him susceptible to injuries. Tomlin, however, said it doesn't make him more prone to getting concussions.

"He's not any more reckless than anyone else who plays the safety position," Tomlin said. "This is a guy who runs to the football, and sometimes violent collisions happen. He has his share of them, but it's not any negligence on his part due to technique


Galax Steeler
10-22-2008, 03:42 AM
Hope you can play Troy I want to see you lay the smack on Plax we need you sunday.

10-22-2008, 07:26 AM
Id rather them be overly cautious...especially the way he plays

Ben certainly didn't handle it well in Oakland in 06...and I just hope they have Troy's best interests in mind.

10-22-2008, 08:53 AM
It does concern me that Troy is going to try to play Sunday..I'd rather he sit this one out. But knowing him, he doesn't want to sit on the sidelines in a game as big as this one.

10-22-2008, 09:34 AM
How could it not effect him?

10-22-2008, 10:06 AM
He will be ready.

10-22-2008, 10:33 AM
Troy's an animal. He could get knocked out 50 times and it wouldn't even faze him.