Truth & Rumors > NFL

Clinton Portis played through concussions "all the time"

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11:08 AM ET 07.01 | Concussions have come under fire in the NFL as we watch players' health decline. The NFL has implemented a series of checks to prevent players from playing with concussions, but that doesn't stop everyone from re-entering the game. Former Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis said it was common practice for him to play through concussions. Portis couldn't even accurately tell you how many concussions he's sustained over his career, but he does believe it was more than 10.

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Clinton Portis, Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images Clinton Portis, Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images
July 2, 2013  12:35 AM ET

Kept signing contracts, though.

July 2, 2013  01:08 AM ET

This explains a lot!

July 2, 2013  02:53 AM ET

He won't even remember them by the time he is 50.

July 2, 2013  05:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

This explains a lot!

Yes! it does.

July 2, 2013  06:15 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

He won't even remember them by the time he is 50.

If he makes it to 50.

July 2, 2013  06:15 AM ET

but he does believe it was more than 10


Which coincidentally, is approximately how many years he shaved off his life.

July 2, 2013  06:23 AM ET

These guys have the option of wearing safer helmets, they have the option of taking themselves off the field to heal, and they have the knowledge of how significant concussions are to their health & well-being.

There comes a point where the player needs to take responsibility for his own health.

July 2, 2013  06:26 AM ET

This explains why portis dressed up as a woman --- now I know....

July 2, 2013  07:47 AM ET

I don't see how... He was smart enough to slide and not get hit, during his last 3 years in Washington.

July 2, 2013  07:49 AM ET

It also explains how they got Portis to do those horrible Eastern Motors commercials

July 2, 2013  08:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

It also explains how they got Portis to do those horrible Eastern Motors commercials

"Your job's your credit!!"

July 2, 2013  09:02 AM ET

In all fairness, Ray Lewis did the commercials too.

Another favorite is Jon Ogden doing the GEBCO insurance commercials - dancing like he was one of the Klumps.

July 2, 2013  09:36 AM ET

He's not complaining about the concussions.. He's mentioning that he played with many of them. I believe that holds true for about 60+% of the players.

July 2, 2013  09:43 AM ET

Interesting. I wonder how many other players did the same thing.

July 2, 2013  09:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

He's not complaining about the concussions.. He's mentioning that he played with many of them. I believe that holds true for about 60+% of the players.

He is campaigning for the lawsuit.

I don't care if he had a concussion every week. He had the choice to work a regular job for regular money, or take a dangerous job for incredible money. He chose. I resent the players taking up the lawsuit. Recently we've seen players already on the lawsuit get another chance to play so they take their names off of the lawsuit and go sign another contract.

July 2, 2013  09:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

He is campaigning for the lawsuit.I don't care if he had a concussion every week. He had the choice to work a regular job for regular money, or take a dangerous job for incredible money. He chose. I resent the players taking up the lawsuit. Recently we've seen players already on the lawsuit get another chance to play so they take their names off of the lawsuit and go sign another contract.

+1.

July 2, 2013  11:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

These guys have the option of wearing safer helmets ...

It's not easy for players to get accurate, relevant medical information about the protection levels that various helmets offer them. What the players get usually comes down to a sales pitch, unless they spend time trying to figure it out for themselves.

Sometimes the manufacturers offer free gear or endorsements for them to choose a particular helmet, so there's not always a very strong incentive for them to look at it from a strictly medical standpoint.

July 2, 2013  12:13 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Interesting. I wonder how many other players did the same thing.

I have a feeling that under-reporting head injuries is happening in just about every game. The league is going to have to hit players in the wallet... like a $20k fine if they develop symptoms for an injury they failed to report. I'm not sure that would really work, though, because it'd be almost impossible to prove when injuries like that actually occurred. But there has to be something they can do, even if it means the league has to allow two or three more roster spots to accommodate resting and monitoring players more frequently.

Monitoring players has to be done, because they aren't going to risk being taken out of the game if there's even the slightest chance they can ignore the headache and contribute. Concussions can take weeks, a couple of them can cost you your job. Austin Collie is probably not going to find a team willing to sign him, waiver or not.

July 2, 2013  01:13 PM ET

Wanted - Firewalkers with tender feet

Look at the game, it is a game of collision.

It is more likely that wearing no helmet would make the game safer than any helmet they can develop.

 
July 2, 2013  07:06 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

It's not easy for players to get accurate, relevant medical information about the protection levels that various helmets offer them. What the players get usually comes down to a sales pitch, unless they spend time trying to figure it out for themselves. Sometimes the manufacturers offer free gear or endorsements for them to choose a particular helmet, so there's not always a very strong incentive for them to look at it from a strictly medical standpoint.

Not being able to think for yourself and being a vegetable really aren't that far apart IMO.

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