From Concussions to Turf Toe: The Inevitable Injuries of Football

Retired NFL player Thomas Jones talks about how the NFL is making some rule changes and teammates are looking out for each other more, but the game of football is and probably always will be dangerous.

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[Thomas Jones] I definitely think that the NFL— they're doing things to change the rules to make it safer. I think guys are a lot more cognizant of what they are doing, how they are hitting guys, but it's still football. You're going to be at a position most of the time to where you have to make a play based on your instinct. There's no way you are not going to be able to make head-to-head contact. That's just out of the question. You know, but I think they are doing what they need to do. Obviously there's pressure as well from the outside world, and with anything, you know, sometimes you do just enough, I'm not saying the NFL does just enough, but they're doing something, which is more than nothing. It's a dangerous sport, and guys know that from the Pop Warner level—it's dangerous. You could get paralyzed, get your neck broken, back broken, break your leg. You could tear your ACL. People hear these injuries, and I guess, they get so used to hearing a torn ACL or a hyperextended toe, and people say, "He has a hyperextended toe? How come he can't play with a hyperextended toe?" Well you know, I had a hyperextended toe. Basically if you take your big toe, and you pull it back as far as you can or, matter of fact, someone holds your hands down, and they pull it back as far as they can while all the ligaments are stretched out to where you can't even walk on it without it feeling like you took a rubber band, and you just pulled it almost all the way to the point that it just breaks, and its not even tight anymore. It's just loose. That's what a grade toe injury feels like: Turf Toe. But on paper, it's like "He has a toe injury." But you can't even walk. You can't even walk around your house. There's so much that people don't really understand about— and it's not meant for them to understand. They don't play. But, like I said, I think the NFL is doing something to help with the concussions, and guys are looking out for each other more, as much as they can.
Posted on BrainLine August 19, 2013.

Produced by Noel Gunther and Erica Queen, BrainLine.