Monday, November 26, 2012
Could Alex Smith's Benching Lead To Players Hiding Concussions?
Alex Smith suffered a concussion three weeks ago and sat out in the Niners game against the Bears (he was close to being cleared to start). Colin Kaepernick came in a played lights out. Now Alex Smith seems to be cleared to play, but the Niners seem to be moving on to Kaepernick.
Has Smith just gotten Wally Pip'ed?
Usually in sports, you don't lose your job due to injury. The reality is that it sometimes happens no matter who you are. Just ask Joe Montana. But with the heightened awareness around concussions and the league mandating players sit out until cleared by the NFL, will players now try to hide any concussion-like symptoms in order to keep from losing their jobs?
Sure, in this day and age, it may be hard to hide a concussion. Still, could a player take more of a risk by trying to keep team doctors from diagnosing one if the player keeps quiet about it. Alex Smith didn't deserve to lose his job. He led the Niners to the NFC Championship last year and has them in a great spot to make a Super Bowl run this season. He is efficient and doesn't turn the ball over. He was doing his job. Sure, Kaepernick may be the future of the franchise and may, ultimately, be better than Smith. However, we would never have known that had Smith not suffered a concussion and been forced to sit.
That concussion ... mild as it appeared to be ... may have cost Smith over $8M. Smith was due to get that check after the season, but will now most likely be released before it kicks in. All because of a concussion. All because he had to sit. He will lose $8 million, his starting job and his opportunity to lead his team to a Super Bowl championship.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the NFL is in the wrong for being cautious with concussions. The NFL has done a lot to bring attention to head injuries and erring on the side of safety is the right thing. Smith losing his job isn't the NFL's fault. But because of these new regulations, will players decide to try to hide these concussions in order to keep their jobs. And their money.
Don't think this isn't crossing every quarterback's mind.
Brought to you by the Sportz Assassin at 7:55 PM