Polamalu admitted on The Dan Patrick Show that he's lied about concussions in order to keep playing. The Steelers safety views concussions differently than team doctors, however.
"I've had, I believe, eight or nine recorded concussions. We'll have another conversation after I'm done playing football," Polamalu said. "When you get your bell rung they consider that a concussion — I wouldn't… If that is considered a concussion, I'd say any football player at least records 50 to 100 concussions a year."
Well, 50 to 100 "concussions" a year seems outrageous, but it shows there's obviously a mindset amongst many players that getting "your bell rung" isn't that big of a deal. Knowing what we now know about concussions and their severity, one would hope players take a more cautious approach. Polamalu doesn't sound ready to do that, though.
"There's so much built up about team camaraderie and sacrifice, and football is such a tough man's game," Polamalu said. "I think that's why it's so popular, why so many blue-collar communities and people feel really attracted to it, because it's sort of a blue-collar struggle that football players go through in terms of the physicality of the game and the commitment you need."
Polamalu insists he's never had any major lies when it comes to injuries, saying "during concussions, if it's serious enough you can't even be conscious enough to lie." Unfortunately, the major effects often don't show up until down the road.
We'll keep our fingers crossed with Polamalu.