If Andrew Luck, who was placed into the NFL’s concussion protocol this week after banging his head on the ground against the Titans on Sunday, doesn’t play against the Steelers on Thanksgiving night, it would benefit Ben Roethlisberger and his team. But that’s not why Big Ben dished out some great advice to Luck on Tuesday and suggested that Luck consider sitting out if his concussion symptoms have not subsided by then.
Roethlisberger has been playing pro football for more than 10 years now, and he has endured his fair share of shots to the head during that time. While speaking with Colts reporters, he admitted that he used to try and hide head injuries so that he could continue playing in games. But in recent seasons, he’s learned that it’s not a good idea to do that, which is why he’s encouraging Luck to think long and hard before he plays on Thursday, just four days after taking a hit to the head.
"The brain is nothing to mess with," Roethlisberger said. "He is young and has a long career ahead of himself…I have played this game a long time and younger days in my career when I wouldn’t have [missed time], and there were many times that I’ve said that I haven’t told anybody that I had been dinged or had a concussion. Looking back on it, I wish I wouldn’t have. You have to be smart when it comes to your brain because you only play football for such a short period of your life. When you have a family and people that you are going to be with for the long term, you have to really make sure your health is taken care of."
Roethlisberger also issued this sobering reminder to Luck and all of his fellow NFL players: "You can rub dirt on a lot of things, but you can’t run dirt on the brain."
There’s been no word yet about how close Luck is to possibly playing on Thanksgiving, but he has to be considered a longshot. Whether he plays or not, let’s hope he takes Roethlisberger’s words of advice to heart.