How's this for a miserable turn of events for San Diego offensive lineman Kris Dielman?
First, he suffers a concussion in Week 7—something that was blatant to everyone except for the Chargers' training staff, who left Dielman out there to continue to have his brain rattle around his skull.
Then, he suffers a seizure on the flight home, directly resulting from the unreported and "unnoticed" concussion. This causes Dielman to be placed on injured reserve and miss the rest of the season.
Finally, there have been reports—first circulated by the San Diego Union-Tribune and now culminating with this from ESPN—that Dielman is expected to retire on Thursday as a result of this negligence-induced calamity.
Dielman, of course, would rather play, but his doctors are insisting his quality of life would suffer dramatically if he continues. Dielman, who is only 31 years old, is a four-time Pro Bowler who is expected to make $4.5 million next season, on top of a $1 million roster bonus he could receive next month.
This only increases stress about San Diego's offensive line, but who cares about that nonsense?
This whole fiasco could have been averted if either a referee or any member of the San Diego staff had noticed that Dielman was "visibly staggered" and "troubled to maintain balance."
Now, perhaps the seizure would have come anyway, but its chances had to have decreased if Dielman were to immediately leave the game, no? I'm nothing but an armchair doctor, but surely his likelihood of having a grand mal seizure would have gone down.
Dielman should sue somebody when he retires, whether that is the Chargers organization or whomever. It would make a powerful point in the ongoing fight against concussions and a counterpoint to the NFL's insistence that they're doing "all they can."
Incidents like these are still slipping through the cracks, and until this ends, the battle isn't over. He'll be potentially forced to stop playing the game he loves, but he could stand to make a decent amount of money out of it.
That, of course, isn't the same.