Polamalu told "The Dan Patrick Show" on Wednesday he has endured eight or nine recorded concussions in the NFL, but the actual number could be much higher.
|Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu says he has lied about suffering concussions and injuries in order to get back onto the field. (Tom Hauck/Associated Press)|
Polamalu estimated that many players suffer between 50 and 100 untracked head injuries during their career, but the culture of the NFL is for players to get back on the field. Polamalu admitted he has lied about his health to stay in the game.
"Yes I have, for sure," Polamalu told Patrick. "There's so much built up about team camaraderie and sacrifice. Football is such a tough man's game. ... It would be no different than the guy who goes to the mines in West Virginia. It's that kind of commitment you need to play football."
Welcome to the core issue. The NFL is ostensibly pushing for player safety, but the culture of the sport dictates a warrior mentality. You don't sit out.
It brings us back to Polamalu's words from last December, when he described weighing his fear of long-term injury against continuing with his brutal (All-Pro-level) style of play.
"That's the fear I think that any player faces," Polamalu told WTAE.com. "And that's the fear that any individual faces, overcoming any certain fears of being a coward, you know, and letting your teammates down or turning down a hit. That's the beautiful thing about sports is these fears are right in your face and it's pretty obvious if you turn them down or not."