Steelers receiver Hines Ward left Sunday night's game against the Patriots after suffering a concussion. Not only does he say he will play against the Oakland Raiders this week, though, but he thinks he should have been allowed to re-enter Sunday night's game.â†µ
"It's football. You get your bell rung," said Ward, who will have to pass a battery of cognitive tests throughout the week before being cleared to play against the Raiders. "It's my body. I feel like if I want to go back out there, I feel like I should have the right.â†µ
"If I don't stumble, I'm right back in the game, but prideful me, I'm trying to get off the field quick. I should have laid there another minute or so."â†µ
The NFL, of course, is particularly sensitive about concussions right now. But one thing we've consistently heard from players, including Ward and Troy Polamalu, is that the players should have more of a role in determining what is safe for them. Ward thinks he should be allowed to decide when he's ready to re-enter a game, and Polamalu thinks the players should have a role in determining how tacklers should be punished for illegal hits. I can get on board with Polamalu's argument, but I think it's probably a good thing that an ultra-competitive player like Ward isn't allowed to decide when he comes back into a game. He seems like the sort of guy who will choose the game over his own safety every time, and I suspect most NFL players are that way.