As America wakes up to seeing a former model spill the beans on a common practice in the NFL, fans of the NFL should hold off on throwing rocks. Tom Brady isn’t alone in potentially not reporting an injury. His wife isn’t a medical doctor, so her opinion has to be taken with a grain of salt; however, if you’ve ever been around someone who’s had a concussion, there are clear signs it’s occurred. This is especially true when they have had more than one.
Read any book, or watch interviews of former players regaling stories of hidden injuries. You won’t find a player or team who doesn’t fudge.
There would be no games to watch on Sundays if every player and team was honest. The games would feature third stringers and ex-college guys grabbed off the streets.
Peyton Manning has indicated he, too has hidden a concussion (or more). He also joked about doing poorly on pre-concussion tests to easier mask the symptoms when the same test is given later.
Did he ever report his neck injury? No. He once had his jaw broken in a game, don’t tell me he didn’t suffer some brain trauma at the same time. A helmet to the jaw that hard is bound to scramble the synopsis.
We know he hid two other injuries in Denver. The first one we know about, was his thigh injury in 2014. For those of us who watched him closely, and game film, there’s a play against NE* week eight that I and others believe he first sustained the thigh injury. Including Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bedard. He wrote an article and showed the play.
This is also when his play and ball accuracy began to deteriorate. Each week thereafter, it kept getting reinjured. Against the KC Chiefs, one player even held his foot and twisted his leg. It was apparent long before the SD game, there was a problem.
Because Peyton was Peyton, he found ways around it, but against the Rams, it was clear he was not in good shape.
In San Diego, the dehydration from the flu ended his subterfuge. Being Manning, no one from the NFL front office was going to publically question him about when the tear occurred. Nor did they question Denver’s training staff.
The second time he hid a problem, was 2015. According to his father, Archie, he hurt his foot in the Spring. Peyton never denied this. The injury may have occurred because he had to change his style of play from mostly shotgun, to having to drop back and roll out. This puts stress on a foot, especially a 39 year old one.
Plantar fasciitis is rarely something that comes on rapidly, it’s a slow deterioration until it reaches a point where it ruptures. That is most likely what occurred in Indianapolis.
He kept that under wraps until after the KC game when he was benched. He said it happened against the Colts. I believe in that game, just like the SD December game in 2014, he kept quiet until the pain reached the point of being unbearable.
He also later revealed while he rehabbed, that he had a rib injury of some sort.
If a player doesn’t tell about a specific injury to a team, that team doesn’t have to report it. There’s also no rule for players to seek ‘therapeutic’ help outside team facilities.
So, a player can go get deep tissue massages, visit a cryogenic facility, and other ‘wellness’ type of businesses and be within the rules. Because of HIPA, no one there will be reporting what treatment a player is receiving, or for what.
A chronic injury sustained during OTA’s can be taken care of outside Dove Valley without the trainers knowing, if a player keeps his mouth shut. Once practices start, soreness is a way of life for every player. It’s easy to mask injuries that should be reported.
This is not to say if a player receives treatment elsewhere he’s trying to game the system, only that it can be done. These facilities are used for preventing injuries, speeding up the healing process of injuries reported and also to heal minor aches and pains of the game.
However, it can’t be ignored that former players have written about how they skated the rules. Including a former Bronco. He even included the drugs he used.
While it’s fun to throw rocks at NE*, there’s not a team living in a stone house, they’re all made of glass. As fans, we should save tarring the Patriots* for when our hands are clean. Plus, I’m sure in the future, there will be another real case for outage, it’s what they do.