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Did Aaron Rodgers Suffer His Third Concussion?

January 26, 2011

There has been much speculation as to whether or not Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion on a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit levied by Bears’ defensive end Julius Peppers. Rodgers appeared to be fine after the hit as he picked himself up off the Soldier Field turf. A penalty on Peppers resulted in a first down, but when the league reviews the play, it will likely result in much more than that. The NFL has a reputation for protecting quarterbacks from hits just like this one, and Mr. Peppers can expect his wallet to be anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 lighter this week.

Regardless of the possible fine, the question remains: Did Aaron Rodgers suffer a concussion on the play? Shawn Doherty of believes the answer is yes.

Rodgers was woozy and wobbling about with dazed eyes. If you didn’t notice he was wobbling, surely you noticed his football was wobbling. His magic was gone for the rest of the game. He couldn’t even hit the mark with a couple of short passes.

Doherty was not the only outside observer that believed Rodgers was concussed, but Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy said after the game that Rodgers was “fine.”

QB1 himself also said he was okay. Speaking to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, Rodgers credited his new helmet for saving him from his third concussion this season.

“That was lucky,” Rodgers told King. “As much as the new helmet feels uncomfortable and I’m still getting used to it, I’m really happy I was wearing it on that hit. It hurt, I can tell you that. He hit me pretty good. I know what a concussion feels like. I’m just grateful this wasn’t hard enough to give me another one.”

It appears that Rodgers did not suffer a concussion, but the question remains of why doesn’t every player wear these new helmets that Rodgers and others are wearing. Maybe it’s just me, but I would gladly go out of my comfort zone to protect my brain. Maybe that’s why I write about football rather than play.

I’ll leave you with one last thought about Rodgers and concussions. You can watch the play for yourself right here, but clearly, Julius Peppers leads with his helmet and drives Rodgers to the turf. On Rodgers’ two concussions earlier this year, his head bounced off the field after taking a big hit. In Chicago, Rodgers head hits the ground, but it doesn’t bounce off the turf the same way it did in Detroit. For all the complaining about Soldier Field’s turf, the soft and mushy conditions possibly saved Rodgers and the Packers from being knocked out of the game.


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