Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving told Mike Fisher of Scout.com he didn't reveal to the team's medical staff that he believed he suffered a concussion during a Nov. 30 game against Washington.
"I wanted to get another sack," he admitted Monday, choosing to stay in the game at halftime rather than talk to the team's trainers about the injury.
Irving hasn't played since and felt severe aftereffects from the concussion.
"I found myself constantly looking for my phone and then realizing I was holding my phone in my hand," he said. "It's hard to put my words in order. I'll be talking and I'll know what I want to say but then when it's time to talk, I can't say it. ... Like a deer caught in headlights."
He also said he felt the most severe effects the day after he suffered the injury—not during the game. The extent of his injury kicked in while he was driving his daughter, Zoe, to school.
"I rolled through a stop sign and got in a fender bender with the truck ahead of me and didn't even realize what I'd done or where I was," he said. "That's when I knew I needed help."
Irving, 24, will be a restricted free agent this offseason. He registered 22 tackles, seven sacks (including one in that Washington game) and a forced fumble in eight contests, missing the first four games after being suspended for taking a banned supplement and the last four games recovering from his concussion.
"It's a bad season," Irving said while evaluating the 2017 campaign, per Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I missed eight games. That's not good. I keep thinking what if I had played all the games. Comeback year. Stay the hell out of trouble. Hopefully, I won't get injured. And see what I can do next year."