A concussion discussion and timeline

  • Updated: June 5, 2012 - 10:22 PM

THE CONCUSSION DISCUSSION

THE BEGINNING

2002: Dr. Bennet Omalu makes news when he examines the 50-year-old brain of deceased Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame center Mike Webster. In the first examination of its kind on an NFL player, Omalu found evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disorder associated with repeated head trauma. Today, according to Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, the brains of 18 of 19 dead ex-NFL players have shown evidence of CTE.

LOWLIGHTS

Nov. 20, 2006: Former Eagles and Cardinals safety Andre Waters commits suicide with a gunshot to the head. Omalu examines samples of Waters' 44-year-old brain and determines that it had degenerated to that of an 85-year-old man.

Feb. 17, 2011: Former Bears safety Dave Duerson, who was experiencing cognitive complications when he wrote a note that said, "Please, see that my brain is given to the NFL's brain bank." Then he killed himself with a gunshot to the chest.

April 19, 2012: Former Falcons safety Ray Easterling, who in 2011 was the first lead plaintiff to file a federal class-action concussion lawsuit against the league, commits suicide as his dementia worsens at age 62.

May 2, 2012: Future Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau kills himself with a gunshot to the chest. He was 43.

LEAGUE REACTION

The NFL, which was slow to recognize and accept the potential long-term effects of repeated head trauma, argues that it couldn't possibly have known the effects considering medical science only started to begin understanding it just 10 years ago. "Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a recent statement. "It stands in contrast to the league's actions to better protect players and advance the science and medical understanding of the management and treatment of concussions."

GOODELL FACTOR

Named NFL Commissioner in 2006, Roger Goodell has made it a point of emphasis to change the culture by cracking down on illegal hits. A turning point in his crusade came following the third week of the 2010 season, which was marked by several violent helmet-to-helmet hits. On Oct. 19 of that year, he fined Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson and Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather for their controversial hits the previous weekend. Goodell also released a memo to all teams that said, "It is clear to me that further action is required to emphasize the importance of teaching safe and controlled techniques, and playing within the rules." Goodell promised not only incremental fines, but suspensions for repeat offenders. This year, Goodell punished the Saints particularly hard for their bounty program.

MARK CRAIG

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Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
NY Mets 8 FINAL
Washington 3
LA Angels 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
Texas 6
Oakland 6 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Indiana 107 FINAL
Milwaukee 111
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Carolina 5
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Washington 3
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 4 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Nashville 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
NY Rangers 5 FINAL
Ottawa 1
Florida 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
Montreal 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Colorado 4 FINAL
Vancouver 1
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Notre Dame 81
North Carolina 72 FINAL
Wisconsin 79
Evansville 89 FINAL
Louisiana 82
West Virginia 39 FINAL
Kentucky 78
Xavier 60 FINAL
Arizona 68
St Johns 55 FINAL
Villanova 63
NC State 79 FINAL
Temple 80
Missouri 55 FINAL
Michigan 65
Oral Roberts 64 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Duquesne 39 FINAL
West Virginia 60
Ole Miss 70 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 82
Northern Colorado 60 FINAL
UCLA 74
St Marys-CA 77 FINAL
Sacramento St 69
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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