Sportress of Blogitude

Ben Roethlisberger on self-reporting 2015 concussion: ‘I’m proud of it’

Ben Roethlisberger said recently he remains “proud” of his decision to self-report a concussion during the 2015 NFL season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback pulled himself out of a Week 12 game against the Seattle Seahawks that season after experiencing concussion-like symptoms. And to this day Roethlisberger has no regrets over the decision.

“I’m proud of it,” Roethlisberger told TheMMQB’s Peter King on a recent podcast, as transcribed by Pro Football Talk. “I have been just like Drew [Brees] where I haven’t reported things before either. Probably everybody who has ever played the game of football hasn’t reported an injury. For me it wasn’t about an injury—I’ve played through many injuries—but when you talk about your head, that is a different ball game.

“You can replace a lot of body parts, but you can’t replace a brain. You see the effects of it from past players, players who have taken their lives, the CTE, all that stuff and, you know, I’m thinking about my family and long term. I love this game and I love my brothers that I play football with, and I would encourage any player who has an issue with their brain to just report it properly . . . We are blessed to play this game but we also have a life to live.”

Roethlisgerger’s most recent comments about concussions echo almost verbatim what he has had to say about it in the past (more on that here). And as he alluded to, Roethlisberger has enjoyed an unbelievable ability to play through other kinds of injuries. He also boasts a remarkable healing ability that borders on the stuff of legend. But it’s clear he approaches head injuries with much more caution, and rightfully so.

The NFL concussion debate obviously continues to be a major source of controversy, an issue reinforced by recent comments made by Gisele Bundchen, Tom Brady’s wife, and alarming revelations revealed by former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

But as far as Big Ben is concerned, there’s no reason ever to hide what could be a brain injury. The hope is players will choose to follow his lead.