After missing a week of practice because of suffering a seizure, New York Jets rookie WR Jalen Saunders will return to full-on, hard-hitting action this week. Saunders was back fully participating in practice Monday, having removed the red jersey he wore Sunday, when he practiced for the first time since being in a car accident because of a surprise seizure on August 15.
It’s great news to hear that Saunders is healthy again. However, it seems rather odd for him to be allowed to play so soon. Now I’m not a doctor, but I do know that seizures and concussions both involve the brain. A seizure occurs when there is abnormal electricity activity in the brain, while a concussion is sustained when the brain suffers trauma. Since the NFL is so concerned today with its players receiving proper medical care and abstaining from physical activity after a concussion, it’s weird that the league has no regimented protocol for other types of brain injuries.
Obviously each player’s injury is different. Some players can bounce back quickly. I just worry that Saunders’ case is too unique for such as short recovery period. When a player suffers a concussion from a hit during a game, the doctors know exactly what happened and how to treat it. In Saunders’ case, this seizure came out of nowhere so doctors are not sure of the cause. What’s to say this won’t happen again? What’s to say that repeated physical contact, such as being tackled, won’t aggravate his condition?
Saunders is listed as the Jets’ first-team punt returner and will get a bunch of action against the Philadelphia Eagles this Thursday. There’s a lot of bodies flying during a punt return, so Saunders will be a major target to get hit. Hopefully the doctors are correct and he will be just fine, but frequent sideline checkups won’t hurt.