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There's a simple reason why some players won't say when they get hurt, "nicked" or "dinged" in a game.
They can lose their job that way.
And in the Super Bowl, even a Pro Bowl linebacker such as New Orleans' Jonathan Vilma said it'd be tough for anyone to willingly come off the field.
"It's the player's job to play football. That's what we do for a living," Vilma said. "The trainers and the head coaches, it's their job to understand what's best for the player. Of course, the player's going to say, 'I don't know when this opportunity's going to come back, so I want to play.'"
Injuries are unavoidable in the NFL, and on every sideline, someone is there waiting to take a spot on the field. Some might say playing through being woozy for a couple plays is a sign of toughness, some might say a sign of silliness, but that's the way of life in just about all levels of football.
"I thought I just got my bell rung," said the Saints' Scott Shanle, who played through a concussion this season against Dallas. "The next day I had more headaches than usual and my balance was not right. I told the team and the first thing they said is, 'You're not going to try to do any practice.' At that point I knew I was going to miss that week."
Some players can't believe more of their colleagues aren't sidelined longer.
Colston was asked this week to describe what being on the receiving end of an NFL hit is like. He thought a minute before giving his answer.
"To me, it's the equivalent of a car accident," Colston said. "You definitely appreciate, as a player, all the research that's going into it now and the situation being brought to the forefront. A lot of guys, when they're playing, they don't think about the long-term effects. I think it's important to learn that stuff."
Hotz said she believes progress is finally being made, at all levels of the game.
Just this week in Miami, a call for legislation was made, asking all 50 states to minimize the possible complications after brain injuries by requiring kids suspected of having concussions to get written consent from a doctor before returning to competition.
Said Woodson: "Players are starting to realize how important it is to take care of your brain. You only get one of them."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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