After each week of NFL football games for the 2017-2018 season, the Heads 'N Tales podcast will be posting an episode dedicated to injuries and health & safety topics surrounding the NFL. Specifically we will talk about possible prevention strategies, the rulebook, equipment and other injury buzz around the league. My co-host and strategist for these episodes will be one of my closest friends, Josh Boyd (hence the J in "JK"..I'm the K...). Josh and I grew up playing baseball together. Josh was a division-1 center fielder for Monmouth University and experienced his fair share of injuries throughout his career. Although Josh never played organized football, the dude flat-out knows the game of football and undoubtably knows more about the ins-and-outs of the sport better than I do from both a fan and x's & o's perspective. Our intention for these episodes is to spark conversations around topics that are usually brushed under the rug or only minimally covered in the hopes of making football and all sports safer for the athletes who play them.
You are currently looking at the show notes for Week 13 (EXTENDED)!
TALKING POINTS FROM STEELERS vs. Bengals on MNF (12/4/17):
Josh and I couldn't wait until next Monday to talk about this game, so we recorded an extension of the week 13 fantasy football injury report. It seemed like everyone was talking about the violence and the brutality of play in this game. Even Jon Gruden, who tends to air on the side of "old school, tough guy" commented that JuJu's hit on Vontaze was "sickening."The storm cloud that hovered over the game after having the image of Ryan Shazier struggling to move after making a tackle early in the game stuck in everyone's head certainly didn't help the situation. Are these hits and injuries just unfortunate byproducts of a violent game? Or can something be done to make the game safer? If so, what is the approach? Because whatever the approach is now, definitely doesn't seem to be working. Check out the videos of the hits/injuries from last night's game below, listen to our thoughts in the podcast, form your own opinion and let us know your thoughts/solutions.
Ryan Shazier, LB Pittsburgh, Carted Off with Back INjury In the 1st Half
JOe mixon, RB Cincinnatti concussion
JuJu Block on Vontaze, Penalty for Block & Penalty for Taunting
- Suspended for one game. (For now)
I don’t have any intentions to hurt anyone when I play football. I didn’t mean to hurt Vontez Burfict, I just wanted to throw a block for my teammate. I apologize for standing over him and that isn’t me. Praying he gets better.— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) December 5, 2017
George Iloka Hit on Antonio Brown TD Catch (No Concussion Protocol)
- Iloka suspended for one game. (For now)
Le'Veon Running like Beastmode
Notable Chatter on Twitter:
Imagine being a parent with a child who loves football and want to play. You’re watching this game. You ask, “How can I let my child play anything other then flag? Ever?"— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) December 5, 2017
This is gonna be one of the games people watch 100 years from now and go “How the hell was this sport a thing?”— Sam Werner (@SWernerPG) December 5, 2017
My God...the violence that seems so reprehensible tonight btw the Steelers and Bengals was celebrated every snap every time the Steelers and Raiders met.— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) December 5, 2017
The only word that comes to mind watching this game: Uncomfortable.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) December 5, 2017
The league can only do so much to emphasize player safety and reduce head injuries. The players need to give a damn too.— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) December 5, 2017
A couple years ago, I wrote the players need to police themselves; there’s only so much rules-makers can do. I was ridiculed. Maybe rightfully. But I still believe that.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) December 5, 2017
Other points of discussion:
- Would this game have been celebrated to a completely different narrative 10 years ago?
- Similarities between this game and Steeler-Raven Games of 2005-2009
- Those games were glorified as great football games for years, last night's game tonight was almost unanimously described as brutal, tough to watch etc. from media members.
- Is it up to the players at this point to look out each other?
- As the NFL and football is currently constituted, can head shots be eliminated from the game regardless off fines, suspensions?