When a player enters the game of football they know that they assume the risk of injury. That especially evident in today’s NFL. You have seen the times change and players are considering their health over a career. I find nothing wrong with this. That is particularly the case with Pittsburgh Steelers TE Ladarius Green. He is suffering from extensive headaches related to previous concussions. This may cause him to have to retire from the NFL at an early age.
The Chargers, in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft, drafted Ladarius Green. He played his college ball at the University of Louisana-Lafayette. He was viewed as the heir apparent to veteran and future hall of fame TE Antonio Gates. In 4 years with the Chargers, Green had 77 rec, 1,087 yards and 7 TDs. He was just beginning to find his way with Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense.
Green decided to move on from the Chargers in 2016. He felt the offense in Pittsburgh might be a better fit for him. He would be viewed as the #1 TE on the team and the replacement for the recently retired Heath Miller. He would be utilized in a variety of ways by OC Todd Haley and the Steelers high-powered offense. Green would sign a 4-year, $20 million free agent contract with the Steelers on March 10.
Since signing with the Steelers, Green has been on the pup list. He had surgery on his ankle back in January. However, it is now coming to light that his extended stay on the pup list may be resulting from extensive headaches. These headaches are the results of multiple concussions that Green has suffered. These concussions and headaches may cause the end of his professional career.
If he continues to have these headaches, the Steelers may have to end up releasing the big TE. That would be a huge blow to both the Steelers offense and Green’s future in the NFL. Green would be a huge loss to the Steelers offense because he has tremendous hands and is a great blocker. He would also open up the middle for the speedy Steelers receivers.
If Ladarius Green does have to call it career because of theses head issues, he becomes another of young, talented NFL players whose career ended too early due to head trauma. Though the NFL is a high paying job, it is no longer a way of life for some of these guys. In this way, the game is changing.
Head injuries are no joke anymore. The NFL, the players and The Players Association all take head injuries very serious. It used to never be this way. But as medicine has progressed so has the importance of knowing the damage a concussion can cause on the brain. The NFL is doing what it can to take all precautions on these types of injuries. Penalties, fines, suspensions and even doctors in the booth are all ways of protection. However, it is a contact sport and these injuries can still happen. Even in the safest environment.
Sad? Yes! Is it ruining the game? No! There are plenty of players that play at a high talent level. The league will still thrive. It may be wise for Ladarius Green to leave the game early if he wants to thrive for the remainder of his life.
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.