It read: “Retirement ‘not been brought up’ for concussed Broncos WR Wes Welker.”
The quoted material is courtesy of Denver Broncos head coach John Fox. Wes Welker suffered his third concussion in 10 months during a preseason game on Saturday. According to the story, “there is optimism” that Welker will play against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 7, which would be 15 days after that third concussion.
Coach Fox was responding to a question: Had the possibility been discussed that Welker, who has been playing in the NFL since 2004, might retire rather than risk a fourth concussion in less than a year?
“That has not been brought up at all,” Fox said.
Hey, Coach, why don’t you bring it up? Why not remind Wes Welker that perhaps he has little left to prove? He’s been named to the Pro Bowl five times and played in two Super Bowls. You might mention that he set franchise records for a receiver while he was with the New England Patriots. Then you might point out to Wes Welker that the more concussions one suffers, the more likely one is to suffer concussions and the attendant consequences.
Hey, Commissioner Goodell, maybe you should bring it up. Maybe your alleged concern for player safety should provoke you to drop Wes Welker an e-mail suggesting that a guy with 10 years in the league might want to cash out rather than put his head out there for somebody to hammer again.
Wes Welker is entitled to make his own decisions. But I hope the high school coaches across our football-loving nation can resist the impulse to make bulletin board material of that USA Today article in which a coach dismisses an implicit suggestion that perhaps a player who has suffered three concussions within 10 months should rethink his commitment to football.
It may be that Wes Welker will sit out just two weeks following that third concussion. What would that translate to for a high school player who’d suffered his first brain injury? Especially if that player had a gung-ho coach? The kind of coach who, when asked if he’d be benching a player out of concern for the health of that player’s brain might say, “that has not been brought up at all.”