The Hall of Fame RB had some interesting comments on the increasing amount of concussion discussions in the NFL.
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In a stark departure from what many NFL legends and even active players have been saying, NFL all-time rushing leader Emmitt Smith has said he would have stayed in the game even if he were concussed and able to play.
In an interview with The Standard Times, the former Cowboys and Cardinals RB who owns every major rushing record, said that he doesn’t regret playing through the pain of injuries or concussions even though they may have affected his long-term health.
“You do it for the sake of the game. You do it for the sake of your teammates. You do it because it’s your team,” Smith said. “Should you be out there? The answer’s probably not. Would I do it again? Yes, I would. But that’s football. That’s the way I was raised. If you can’t play with pain, you can’t play the game.”
Smith was famous for his durability, playing in 201 out of 208 games in a 13-year career with the Dallas Cowboys. In one of his most famous game, he played through broken ribs and recorded over 200 rushing yards.
“Head trauma is one of those things where I don’t think anybody should be playing,” Smith said. “A lot of times I came to the sidelines and smelled some ammonia [to] clear the cobwebs. Today that doesn’t happen. I got knocked out in ’98 on Thanksgiving Day. Thank God it was Thanksgiving Day because I had 10 days to recover. Ten days. Now, they keep you out two weeks.”
Concussions have become a serious issue in the NFL. One of the rising stars on the San Frnacisco 49ers, LB Chris Borland, retired after just one season over concussion concerns relating to long-term health. Meanwhile, multi-time NFL receptions leader Wes Welker has been forced to contemplate retirement on multiple occasions due to the concussions which have ravaged him over the last few years.