KUSA- Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker is continuing his recovery from his third concussion in ten months. He sustained the injury during this weekend's game against the Texans and he was wearing a specially-designed helmet, meant to minimize the risk of concussions. When he might return to play remains uncertain.
Concussions are part of the football landscape. Former NFL linebacker Chad Brown knows that all too well.
"Depending on how you're judging that number, somewhere between 15 to over 100," Brown said, when talking about the number of concussions he said he sustained.
Brown played in the NFL for 15 years and said his concussions ranged from mild to severe.
"As a player, it's hard to go out there and compete as an NFL football player and not believe that you're Superman and that nothing bad can happen to you," he said.
Dr. Thomas Maino is with the Sports Concussion Center of Colorado Clinic, located in Arvada. They are not treating Wes Welker, but they do specialize in athletic concussions.
"Football's a rough sport-- and in a rough sport, you're going to have concussions," Dr. Maino said. "It's much like one of those old-time switchboards, where there's all the plugs that the operators are putting in and somebody's knocked their switchboard. All the plugs have come out and the people have to put the plugs back in."
Dr. Maino said that part of the problem is that over time, the effects of multiple concussions can build up.
"We also know that there is some kind of permanent damage because, statistically, you have less of a chance of coming all the way back with each successive concussion," he said.
Just what effect this latest concussion will have on Welker's career and life is not clear.
However, Chad Brown said, as a player, the drive to return to the field is strong.
"It's that same mindset that has enabled him to be perhaps the best slot receiver in the NFL in the last ten years," Brown said. "So, to ask him to change his perspective, because he got hit in the head, when that perspective has given him all the success he has had, is a very difficult thing to do."
Doctors said in 70 percent of concussion cases, a person is not knocked out, but that doesn't mean there isn't damage. They said the number one thing to do afterwards is to take it easy, while the brain is healing.
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