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New York Jets' Rex Ryan OK with risks of son playing football

  • By NFL.com
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Despite the growing concerns of head injuries, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said that he still wants his son to play football.

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Last year, Ryan's son Seth, a high school cornerback and wide receiver, suffered a concussion while playing in a game.

"I’m proud that my kid plays,” Ryan said Saturday, following the second day of Jets' rookie minicamp.

“He had a concussion last year. That’s part of it. Obviously, I think that we are so much further along now. When you look at the league now ... nobody is forcing guys to come back. That’s just the opposite. I think our trainers do an unbelievable job. Our doctors do a great job. They’re not going to put a young man out there unless they feel he’s healthy enough to come back and play. The same thing with my son. Obviously you got concerns. It happens."

NFL Network analyst and former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner made news last week when he said he’d prefer his children not play football because of the head-injury risk.

"It’s an unfortunate part of the game," Ryan said. "I truly believe everybody’s working to try to get this thing minimized. We’ve got to protect our players. ... We try to do that with the helmets, with the way the trainers and everything else. But will I still have my son playing? Absolutely.”

Ryan talked about what it takes to play in the NFL.

"The thing that separates football from other sports ... I think it takes courage to play football. That’s why I think guys are so special that play this game. ... Line up on that kickoff team and you’re running down that field and you don’t know where it’s coming from, but you know it’s coming. And you’re scared but you go anyway. That tells you a little bit about this game ... that you got to overcome fear."

He summed it up by saying, "It takes somebody special to play this game.”

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