Jahvid Best's history makes future unclear

October, 20, 2011
10/20/11
12:55
PM ET
Amateur doctors can look at the facts of Jahvid Best's concussion history. They are documented. One resulted from a frightening fall while playing at Cal in 2009. Two have come in the past two months for the Detroit Lions, following hits that were mild enough to go unnoticed while watching the game live.

We can look at those facts, fear for Best's long-term health and wonder if he should take some substantial time away from the game to evaluate his future.

At the same time, of course, we have no idea about the circumstances of Best's current condition. Are his symptoms mild? Severe? Have his test results looked good? Are they alarming? So from this vantage point, it's difficult to do anything other than await word from Best himself.

(On Wednesday, Best tweeted: "Thanks for all your tweets and prayers. I'm taking everything one day at a time.")

It's worth noting, however, that Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reported that people close to Best are "expressing concern" about playing again this season. Presumably, those people know more about the specific circumstances of this concussion than we do. They could also be people who love him and simply don't want to see him in harm's way anytime soon.

All of this is to say that we should take Best's situation very, very seriously. No one is trying to raise alarms. In truth, we don't even know for sure that he won't play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, even though it seems pretty unlikely at the moment. His history, combined with still-emerging concerns about the long-term affects of concussions, simply makes this a complex issue that isn't likely to go away anytime soon.

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