Morris Claiborne gets message on concussions

A seminar on the dangers of concealing head injuries and concussions made an impression on Cowboys first-round pick Morris Claiborne.

Monday's presentation to NFC rookies was part of a four-day retreat in Aurora, Ohio, designed to ease their transition from college athletes to paid professionals.

The Associated Press got Claiborne's reaction:

While most players don't consider head injuries on the field, Claiborne said any outside discussion on potential long-term effects of head injuries are sobering.

"You think about it when you're sitting in here," Claiborne said afterward outside one of the conference rooms at The Bertram Hotel. "Being a football player, once you're on the field, you don't think about getting concussions or stuff like that. It's very important.

"It could be the difference between life or death. If you feel symptoms or those kind of things, you need to tell someone."

The issue of players hiding their symptoms from trainers and team doctors has been one of the league's major obstacles in trying to improve safety and minimize health risks.

In a series of interviews about head injuries with The Associated Press in December, 23 of 44 NFL players -- slightly more than half -- said they would try to conceal a possible concussion rather than pull themselves out of a game.

Claiborne said he's never been faced with the dilemma of whether to cover up an injury. But he won't take any chances if he's ever confronted in the future.

"I really haven't been in that situation," said Claiborne, who has a 2-year-old son. "I know if I ever were, I would let someone know. You want to play and you want to get back in there, but if you get in there and you take another hit you might never play again. It's important to let someone know and check you out."