Ed Reed: NFL Should Focus on Teaching Consequences of Playing, Not Rule Changes

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIOctober 10, 2019

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 22: NFL Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed looks on during the first round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on August 22, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Hall of Famer Ed Reed knows firsthand the risks of playing in the NFL after he spent 12 seasons in the league.

While Reed appeared on The Rich Eisen Show on Thursday, a question about Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas' hit that left Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph briefly unconscious and concussed in Week 5 led to a larger point about the dangers of football. 

"We need to put it in the contract," Reed said. "If you play NFL football, you play football, these are the consequences. There's choices and consequences in life for everything. There's consequences if you play football." 

         

This isn't the first time Reed has commented on concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). 

During a 2015 interview with Steve Kroft on CBS' 60 Minutes, the former Baltimore Raven estimated he had suffered three or four concussions throughout his career that he can remember. 

Reed added he doesn't regret playing football. 

"Now that I know the dangers? Yes, I still would do it again," he said. "Why? 'Cause look at me. Look at my family. They're able to eat, they're able to have food and shelter over their head. Would I play football again? Yes."

Kroft asked if Reed would have wanted to know the results if the NFL had a test to determine CTE's presence when he was playing.

"If they're going to give me this test and this test is going to be a negative towards me as a player and I gotta go home now and I can't play this game anymore, no," Reed replied. "I don't wanna know till after. I don't wanna know until when I'm retired. No guy would want that. No player would want it."

The nine-time Pro Bowler went on to say "football is not going anywhere" despite the growing concern surrounding long-term damages.

The NFL is cracking down harder on violent hits to combat that concern. Entering this season, the league's owners voted to eliminate blindside blocks in an effort to protect defenseless players. In 2018, the Use of Helmet rule was implemented that penalizes 15 yards if a player "lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent."

The prime example so far in 2019 is the league's decision to suspend Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict for the remainder of this season after a helmet-to-helmet hit during the team's Week 4 game against the Indianapolis Colts. 

What's your take?Get the B/R app to join the conversation

Related

    Athlete COVID-19 Beer Pong Fundraiser 🍺

    Gronk, Manziel and Kelce among pros recruited to play in Post Malone's celeb beer pong tournament for coronavirus relief

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Athlete COVID-19 Beer Pong Fundraiser 🍺

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Offseason's Biggest Loser So Far

    Why the last two weeks have been a disaster for the Bears

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Offseason's Biggest Loser So Far

    Brent Sobleski
    via Bleacher Report

    Calais Campbell Chose Winning Over Earnings in Decision to Sign with Ravens

    Baltimore Ravens logo
    Baltimore Ravens

    Calais Campbell Chose Winning Over Earnings in Decision to Sign with Ravens

    Maven
    via Maven

    Ravens star Marlon Humphrey speaks out on social distancing

    Baltimore Ravens logo
    Baltimore Ravens

    Ravens star Marlon Humphrey speaks out on social distancing

    247Sports
    via 247Sports