NFL players and organizations know more about head trauma and brain injuries than any previous era or generation. With that knowledge comes hypervigilance – at least for some people. For others, well, there comes a sense of calm.
“I think my wife is more concerned about it than I am,” Lions offensive guard Geoff Schwartz said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I’ve been lucky not to have any concussions. I don’t know if that’s the way I play or if I’ve just been lucky, but I think we know the risks of playing football now. There’s no doubt about that. I do think guys are a lot more cautious about it.”
Schwartz, a seventh-round pick in 2008, has played for the Panthers, Vikings, Chiefs and Giants. He signed a one-year deal with the Lions in March.
“I think when I first came in eight years ago, you kind of just played through head injuries,” said Schwartz, 29. “You just kind of did. Now guys are way more alert about it. Training staffs are way more alert about it. Obviously some get missed, but for the most part, they get caught. We had a teammate last year who was displaying some sort of concussion symptoms, but he wasn’t really sure – and in the past, maybe he would have played through it. But he told the trainers, he got checked into the program and it turns out he had a concussion. That’s the kind of stuff that’s getting better.”
Schwartz feels the NFL has taken strides to combat concussions and other forms of head trauma.
“I think they’re making good steps to treat them,” he said. “It’s hard to treat them. Rest is how you treat them. It does fall on the players a bit to report concussions. Nowadays, we know what is going on. It was clear that 30 years ago, 20 years ago, that information was not out there. But now it is. We know what the risks are. I know when I go out there that I could get a concussion. I know that CTE is a possibility.”
For now, though, Schwartz has not had any issues of any sort.
“I feel great,” he said. “My mind is still working well. I’m blessed in that sense. But I think we all know the risks now. There’s no excuse for a guy to say nowadays that they don’t know what they’re doing.”