Concussions have become more of a sour topic in the NFL in recent years. A plethora of former players have come out of the woodwork as of late sharing stories about their cognitive struggles in their post-playing days.
Perhaps the most notable example to New England Patriots‘ fans of a player struggling with long-term concussion issues is late former Patriot Junior Seau. In May of 2012, he became so desperate for answers that he decided to take his own life by shooting himself in the chest, thus allowing his preserved brain to be studied in the hope of helping future generations.
Other players that have struggled from concussion-related issues post-career include the likes of Dave Duerson, Jim McMahon, Jahvid Best, and many more. Even Brett Favre has divulged recently that he has had issues post-career having to do with memory. These issues, he believes, are related to concussions during his playing days.
Now, you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with Sunday and Nate Solder specifically? The answer is simple. So far in his playing career, Solder has had four concussions, two of which have come in the past two weeks.
As anyone that is familiar with concussions can attest to, having a string of concussions in a short amount of time is extremely dangerous. In fact, for young people with brains that are not fully-developed, repeated concussions that haven’t had sufficient time to heal can prove to be fatal.
This would be unlikely to occur for Solder since his brain is fully formed by now, but it is still extremely dangerous to risk him sustaining a third concussion in just three weeks for a regular season football game even if it is against the Baltimore Ravens with a playoff spot on the line. If he were to suffer another concussion this week, the Pats could be forced to shut him down for the year and perhaps longer than that.
Unfortunately, Solder’s concussion history is a serious concern, and it is my opinion, although many people would probably disagree, that the team should shut him down until the playoffs start. The Denver Broncos have even adopted a similar tactic with former Patriots WR Wes Welker, who has suffered two concussions this year as well causing Denver to shut him down until the postseason.
The Patriots would be smart to let Solder heal up and rest so there are no doubts regarding his health, both in the short and long-term.