Urlacher says again he'd lie about concussion
The issue has been getting plenty of attention this week in Chicago, but Urlacher would like to see the league focus more on the knees. Specifically, he'd like to see cut blocks banned.
"But that seems to be OK with the NFL so they're not too concerned about safety, obviously," he said. "They are concerned about long-term concussions, but immediately they're not concerned about your knees or your ankles or anything like that. I think that should be an issue. Concussions are taking care of themselves. It's a big deal now to everyone because of all the older players coming back and saying they're all messed up now. That's definitely an issue, but I think the cut blocks need to be a big issue as well."
Isn't there a big difference between a head injury and knee injury?
"Huge," Urlacher said. "Because a knee injury puts you out for a season, a concussion you may miss a game or two. Huge difference."
Then, he acknowledged the long-term impact of head injuries.
"That's why you have to judge," Urlacher said. "If you don't want to play if you get concussed, then don't play. It's your career. It's your life."
On the knee issue, defensive end Israel Idonije agreed "100 percent."
"We all know that, though," he said. "It's an offensive game. Ultimately, a lot of the rules that are put in are put in place to advance the offense. And defensively, we're second fiddle at times. That's just the nature of the game. So hopefully the bodies that govern the rules and protections do a better job of taking the injuries that the players on defense consistently sustain, they take those seriously and remove some of those elements from the game as well."
But when it comes to concussions?
Defensive end Corey Wootton was just as adamant as Urlacher. Would he lie?
"No, I wouldn't," Wootton said.
He said he's discussed the issue with former teammate Hunter Hillenmeyer, whose career was cut short by concussions. He also mentioned Dave Duerson, one of the stars on the 1985 championship team who suffered from the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"This is not what we're going to be doing for the rest of our lives," Wootton said. "A lot of people have families and want to have families eventually, want to play with their kids and live a long life."
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