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Concussion recovery time may be too brief and too risky in NFL

Football is a rough sport. Typical injuries to shoulders, knees or ankles are ones players are often hit with the most. Once they incur these injuries, players seem to shake it off and get back in the game as soon as possible. However, players concussed on the field and quickly returning to play may be taking too great a risk.

Players for the Denver Broncos and other NFL teams are at risk for this type of on-the-job injury, which may qualify them for workers' compensation benefits. Unfortunately, most players focus on returning to play instead of taking time to fully recover.

But, perhaps as a result of the numerous lawsuits filed by former players, the NFL has begun implementing practices that will have a positive impact on concussed players. One such practice involves players taking a baseline test to evaluate a player's cognitive functioning before the season begins. This baseline can then be used to evaluate a player who is concussed. As more is learned about the dangers of concussions and the necessary precautions that need to be taken to prevent further damage, there will likely be greater protection for football players.

Even though these players make a considerable amount of money and are aware of the risks and dangers associated with the sport, football players should be able to get workers' compensation benefits following a head injury, just like any other employee in Denver. Like anyone else who is injured on the job, players should be able to have their medical bills covered, as well as any other costs associated with their injury. After all, they are just doing their jobs, too.

Source: ESPN, "The NFL's concussion conundrum," Andrew Brandt, Oct. 17, 2012

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