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Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Brandon Jacobs playing it safe

Brandon Jacobs doesn't want to be idle in the event of an NFL lockout, and the Giants running back and boxing enthusiast had considered the idea of trying to get a few fights during any work stoppage. Boxing is verboten while Jacobs is under contract, but if the owners lock out players, they can finally skydive and bull ride to their hearts content.

But ultimately, Jacobs reconsidered because of a very current NFL health issue.

"It's not that I can't do it because I can do it," Jacobs said. "The issue is the concussions matter."

Boxing is one sport in which avoiding blows to the head is impossible, and Jacobs didn't want to combine that with the risks from playing football.

"I thought about [boxing], but it's a real dangerous thing to do," Jacobs said. "The sport that I play is trying to cut down on a lot of concussions, and all that would be doing is creating more concussions."

The NFL has improved guidelines in identifying and treating concussions in the wake of evidence that repeated head trauma can have long-term negative consequences.

"You're going to get hit; that's just the way [boxing] is," said Jacobs, who lives in New Jersey. "I manage two fighters, I know a lot about it, I'm in the ring, I spar, you still feel it."

In the short term, if he got injured and the lockout was lifted, he would have to answer to his team.

"Doing that and then going to football, where I have to go head-to-head with a lot of people, the Giants may not like that at all," Jacobs said. "Missing a game or two games because of concussion."

The money in boxing wouldn't justify the risk. So he will have to content himself with being around the sport on the managerial side. From that vantage, he can see the competitive advantage of football.

"If you lose, you may get another chance and you may not," Jacobs said. "Football, win or lose, every Sunday I've got to come out, Sunday after Sunday for six months straight, and try to get it done. ... It gives you another chance to redeem yourself."