We spent some time Monday discussing the condition of both Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his helmet after Sunday's 24-15 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Packers debunked theories that the helmet cracked at some point during the game, but there was no doubt Rodgers absorbed a big hit on a second-quarter fumble and took longer than normal to get up and re-join the huddle.
Rodgers looked dazed at several points in the game, including when he took a second shot from Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny after a third-quarter scramble. Speaking Tuesday on his ESPN 540 radio show, Rodgers agreed that he got "rocked" but said he was positive he did not suffer a concussion on either play.
"I've had two concussions," Rodgers said. "I know what that feels like. I know the moments after. I know I'm not going to put myself in harm's way by staying in a game when I'm not healthy mentally, when my brain is not healthy. So this was nothing like that. So I'm just going to stop you there, and say, I'm not going to say it was a clean hit, but it was a hit to the head area, and that I'm fine."
Rodgers spent part of the show drawing a distinction between being "staggered" and "rocked."
Rodgers: "I would say if you use the word 'stagger,' it would insinuate some sort of head trauma, major brain trauma. To use the word stagger ... staggered means that your equilibrium is off, you're seeing stars potentially. So I'm going to say 'rocked.' 'Rocked' to me, that brings up you just got rocked. You're kind of feeling it for a second and then you get up. 'Staggered' means you got up, but you're still not right, you're trying to walk it off. Which way is the bench? Which way is the huddle? So I'm going to use 'rocked.'"
If nothing else, this episode reminds us how much gray area remains in the concussion issue. We're being conditioned more and more to look for and expect concussion symptoms whenever a player is "rocked." Sometimes, of course, they aren't "staggered." Is "kind of feeling it for a second" something to be concerned about in this era? In this case, apparently not.