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Friday, August 29, 2014

Bengals Injury Update: Andre Smith Dealing With Concussion Throughout Entire Preseason

By on 8/29/2014 12:00:00 PM

Cincinnati Bengals offensive linemen Andre Smith has been dealing with concussion symptoms throughout the preseason, lingering concussion symptoms are not uncommon but do impact his return to play substantially.

Smith who has been out the entire preseason has been dealing with concussion symptoms, a player who still exhibits concussion symptoms cannot be cleared to return until all symptoms have subsided and the medical staff clears him. Lingering concussion symptoms are not uncommon, every concussion is different, some players take longer than others to recover and this is the case with Andre Smith. Research has shown that a majority of athletes who sustain a concussion return to play within seven to ten days, but as stated earlier every concussion is different, there is no set timetable.

The NFL which has been under severe criticism the past few years due to the increased awareness of sport related concussion and a massive lawsuit against the NFL. There have been advances in the way the NFL handles concussions and protocol that all players and medical staff must follow. The entire protocol is available for the public on the NFL website. The protocol consists of several baseline tests to measure a players cognition, memory, reaction time, and neurological testing. The medical staff will revisit these baseline tests during an initial concussion evaluation and used to track a players progression through the return to play phase.

The NFL concussion policy is a way of helping to protect players from returning to a game while still concussed and also protecting the players from further injury. Andre Smith's case is one where he still has symptoms which means he is not allowed to be fully cleared for contact football activity, but the Bengals are allowing him to participate in non-contact drills and stay in shape. It is not known when Smith will be fully cleared to return to play, but while he still exhibits concussion symptoms he will not be cleared.

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