Most players answered quickly when asked the latest survey question posed by reporters for ESPN's NFL Nation Confidential series -- True or false: I’d play in the Super Bowl with a concussion.
An overwhelming 85 percent of the players polled answered true, saying they would play in the Super Bowl with a concussion. The results speak not only to the rare opportunity to play for an NFL title, but also to players’ perspectives on the concussion issue.
Most players have played with minor concussions at some point during their football careers. Players have a better understanding of the severity of concussions and the types of long-term affects concussions can have on their health. But they also know their pro football careers will not last long, leaving limited opportunities to play in such a big game.
So the rewards of playing in a Super Bowl with a concussion outweigh the risks.
Nine of the 10 San Diego Chargers players surveyed said they would play in a Super Bowl with a concussion.
The second health-related question produced more balanced results. Players were asked if the NFL was committed to player safety. Of the 320 players surveyed, 192 (60 percent) answered yes, and 128 (40 percent) said no.
That more than half answered yes shows how much progress the league has made in promoting player safety with rule changes and regulations put in place to protect players’ short-term and long-term health.
However, proposals like an 18-game schedule serve to keep some players skeptical of the league’s true feelings about its players.
Seven out of the 10 San Diego players surveyed said the league is committed to player safety.