The National Football League is “investigating” the incident involving Kris Dielman, the San Diego Chargers’ offensive guard. Super. In New Jersey last Sunday, Dielman played through a mid-game concussion that was obvious to the television audience but somehow missed by the team’s trainers and doctors. He then suffered a violent seizure flying back to San Diego on the team plane Sunday night.
But the NFL can’t investigate itself on the question of whether the NFL even gives a damn. For all its outrageousness, the fact that Dielman continued on the field is just another manifestation of the ultra-competitiveness of pro football. They can all say they’ll take measures to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, but inevitably it will.
That Dielman was on a cross-country flight hours later, however, is something else entirely. Even I know that you don’t get on an airplane in the immediate aftermath of a head injury, and I have none of the medical degrees amassed by such NFL experts as Ira “Dr. No” Casson and Joe “Sports Brain Guard” Maroon.
Does the NFL care even a little bit about the health of its players? Does anyone else care that the NFL doesn’t care?
Where are the new NFL “concussion policy co-chairs,” Drs. Richard Ellenbogen and Hunt Batjer, on all this? Are they bound and determined to end up with reputations as sterling as those of Casson and Maroon?