Houston Texans’ Cheta Ozougwu Plays a Full Quarter With a Concussion

Published August 17th, 2011, Uncategorized

From Mike Florio of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk comes the story of Cheta Ozougwu of the Houston Texans, who got dinged on the opening kickoff of Monday night’s preseason game against the New York Jets, played on while nobody in authority noticed, and finally was pulled and spent the night in the hospital. See “Two Texans suffer concussions on Monday night,” http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/08/16/two-texans-suffer-concussions-on-monday-night/.

Ozougwu was the very last player chosen in this spring’s National Football League draft — the whimsically titled “Mr. Irrelevant.”

Florio: “This incident once again exposes the primary flaw with the league’s procedures for detecting concussions.  Players don’t want to be pulled out of games, especially in the preseason, when guys at the bottom of a 90-man roster are trying to make it to the final 53. And so players can’t be counted on to confess to having suffered a concussion. Of course, that assumes Ozougwu was able to deliberately conceal his symptoms.  Far more troubling is the possibility that evidence existed, and that no one noticed (other than [teammate Darryl] Sharpton).”

Well said. But even worse, in my view, is that the Pollyanna statements by the NFL’s Dr. Joseph Maroon, along with his misleading video at nflhealthandsafety.com, put millions of young amateur athletes in harm’s way.


Irv Muchnick