Roth told Tania Ganguli that he thought about playing through lingering headaches, but asked around and changed his mind.
"With all we know about head injuries now, it’s not something I want to risk the rest of my life with head injuries," Roth said. "... I think in the long run, for myself and for this team, I think that would probably be the best decision."
Said Session: "This is one thing that can affect you and it can affect your family. You get situations where you end up having dementia, all those things that those boxers get, all those different head injuries, they’re available to you as a football player once you start having those head injuries. I’m just trying to attack these symptoms. Quit while I notice them and just evaluate as much as I can and just try to get some peace."
Perhaps their assessments signal a change in thinking for NFL players with regard to head injuries. Their teammate, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, recently said he’d hide concussion symptoms in order to return to action.
Concussions are simply an occupational hazard, Jones-Drew said.
"The only reason they're making a big deal about concussions right now is because the league is getting sued over it," Jones-Drew said. "Before this, you never heard about it. A couple of years ago, you didn't hear anything about it. Let's not make something out of nothing. Yeah, people are getting messed up. That happens. Most of the time it's because they're not wearing mouth pieces and they're probably doing some other stuff. Obviously, back in the day they were doing some things that weren't going to help your body out. It's 2012; there's ways to fix your body. Sometimes that means you have to pay the price."
I appreciate Jones-Drew sharing a stance I am sure many guys around the league share. It helps give us a three-dimensional picture of the issue. Spurred by the threat of law suits or not, the league is hoping more and more players will increasingly think and act like Roth instead.