The topic of concussions has been a growing concern in football for a while now. The league continues to toughen their rules to prevent players who suffer concussions from getting back into or being forced back into games. Equipment manufacturers are looking for ways to help and even the ways players are allowed to tackle has been changed. Across the country, parents are having to decide if they want their children to play football for fear of long term brain damage from concussions.
To drive home that point are stories like this. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the career of Houston Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz may be over. The 26-year old may be forced to retire after suffering his fourth concussion in the past two seasons last weekend. A third-round pick in 2014 out of Iowa, Fiedorowicz went on injured reserve in September because of a concussion but returned to the active roster in week 10 only to be put back on IR last week after suffering his third concussion of this season.
Sources are saying that the young man may not be able to play again, whether by his own choice or by that of the Texan's doctors. He will have to pass a team physical before returning to the game and there are no guarantees that he will be able to do that. If he can't, then his career will be over. There were concerns about this going into the season as the three-year, $21.5 million contract extension he signed during the summer included a de-escalator clause that will bring his base salary down by $2.8 million if he was to be cut due to pre-existing condition… like say a concussion. Of the $21.5 million, only $10 million was guaranteed and that would drop to $7.2 if he can no longer play.