NFLN survey/player safety: Falcons

January, 27, 2014
Jan 27
10:00
AM ET
Some of the Atlanta Falcons paused when I asked them the question about whether the NFL is committed to player safety.

At the same time, a handful said they would play in the Super Bowl with a concussion.

Safety measures have been an ongoing topic of debate, and the intensity of those discussions heightened after the deaths of former players Junior Seau and Dave Duerson.

I know for a fact that the Falcons, as a whole, lean on the side of caution when it comes to concussions. Head coach Mike Smith was adamant about going through every step of the league's protocol when players such as Thomas DeCoud and Jacquizz Rodgers sustained concussions during the season. Both players missed games due to concussion.

Of course, it’s easy to understand why the majority of players would want to play in the Super Bowl with a concussion. Playing in the game is something not everyone has an opportunity to
do, no matter how many years they play. Just ask Tony Gonzalez.

That being said, any team that would allow the player to make the call in terms of playing in a Super Bowl despite a concussion would be foolish.

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter

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