The USA Today reports that agent Kennard McGuire advised his sick client, Peyton Hillis, to sit out the Cleveland Browns’ Week 3 game against the Miami Dolphins. Hillis followed the advice, and he decided not to play with strep throat.
The Browns won the game, and nothing was made of Hillis not playing until McGuire admitted to the media that he told Hillis to sit out. The problem is it’s a contract year for the running back, and certain people are going to take the issue the wrong way.
McGuire was quoted as saying he treated the situation in an unbiased manner.
"I would give him the same advice to him or any of my clients as if he were my son. The game is physical enough, and the way Peyton plays the game, he needs all the elements of his physical game. Him being sick, and the level of his sickness, is the equivalent of being injured.”
I’m going to assume I’m joining the minority in believing that McGuire did the right thing here. Untreated strep throat, depending on the severity (which I’m unsure of Peyton’s), can lead to serious complications that greatly affect the body.
Many will believe that McGuire was telling Hillis to sit out in a form of protest for not reaching a new deal at the beginning of the year. Although possible, it’s impossible to tell the true intentions of McGuire in this situation.
However, the fact that Peyton listened to his agent and sat out is going to bug many NFL diehards. Injuries and sicknesses happen, but casual fans expect players to play through almost anything.
Tony Romo is currently playing with a broken rib and punctured lung. Although courageous, it’s also incredibly unintelligent and how team doctors are clearing him to play is beyond me. The fact that he is wearing a Kevlar vest is absolutely ridiculous. Brave, but downright ridiculous.
With all of the flak Jay Cutler received for leaving the NFC championship game last season, many players are afraid to leave the field no matter the severity of the injury. Hillis’ situation is unique because it’s a sickness, but he should have the final say on whether or not he thinks he can go on Sunday.
Hillis will likely be labeled soft by many, but I’m not sure that’s true. If it were a playoff game or a late-season game with postseason implications, Hillis would have been out there. Instead, it was a Week 3 game with the now 0-4 Miami Dolphins.
With the way last season went, and Hillis’ selection as the cover boy for Madden ’12, the Browns would be dumb not to re-sign him. There have been no implications that Hillis is looking to move elsewhere, so the allegations that he sat out in protest seem relatively obscure.