Plenty of us wondered why the Chicago Bears drafted a 6’3 260 pound defensive end out of Boise State. This wasn’t a very popular pick with fans and the media. Through nine games, he’s been credited with 2.5 sacks and has shown an ability to get into the backfield. For a guy drafted to be a pass rusher, he’s doing what’s expected.
But I also remember one of the concerns with McClellin on draft day was a history of concussions. He had a reported three concussions while at Boise State including a serious one in 2010 against Wyoming. In 2009, he suffered a mild concussion as well. McClellin denied the severity or number of these injuries (only two were officially reported), but where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And in his case, we are starting to see something burn.
With all the research around concussions and the NFL taking these injuries much more seriously, his future in the NFL still isn’t as secure as his physical talents may or may not allow. While this may be a coincidence, it also is a troubling situation. I enjoy watching McClellin play, but his promising career may be cut short by this issue.
In recent days gone by, guys like McClellin would have played through this injury. Luckily, the NFL has started to crack down on guys playing with head injuries. While this is good for the long-term health of McClellin, this brings back the question about this pick. If the team didn’t take his history of concussions seriously, it was a huge mistake.
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