Want a lightning rod response on head trauma and concussions in the NFL? Who better Ravens+Insider)" target="_blank">to ask than Ray Lewis, the guy who has dished out more than his fair share of brain injuries, and based on this statement, probably has a concussion right now.
“You’ve got to ask yourself what point in the game you’re at, what stage of the season you’re at, how big is the game? Are you really needed at that point? If you’re blowing somebody out, no [don't go back in]. If you’re fighting to go to [the Super] Bowl, then you’ve got to suck it up.
It's surprising that media savvy Lewis, who has made a public career out of controlled and well-framed bravado, would take the machismo-charged route on this issue. I can see his point, given that you only have but so many chances to win a championship. But the only people these days in favor of playing with concussions are guys who already sound like they’ve had their skulls shaken up one too many times.
You would think Lewis, of all people, would take the road most traveled on concussions. Given that he would probably win a poll of “Most likely to give somebody a concussion via football tackle,” common sense would tell you that he would have interest in protecting his hard-hitting personal brand.
I would’ve expected him to say something along the lines of “you gotta play tough, but we have families to support and lives to lead after football.” At the very least, he could’ve called it a hard decision and left it at that. Anything but alluding to a “toughen up in big games, sissy” approach.