PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz says he will be fine one day after his playoff debut was cut short by a concussion in the Birds’ 17-9 playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He also said that head injuries are a scary thing and doctors agree.
This leaves Eagles fans wondering what this means for Wentz’s future and if he will be more prone to future concussions.
While we do not have details on Wentz, doctors do know that players who are concussed need to take some time off to let the brain heal.
“About 20% of individuals with concussions have persistent symptoms,” Dr. Doug Smith, director of Penn Medicine’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair, said.
He says concussions caused by head impact disrupt fibers in and around the brain that are like an electrical grid.
Different people have different reactions as well as symptoms and they can be tricky to diagnose.
“It’s just a physical exam, you might have eye tracking, balance, you ask some cognitive tests, see how quickly they’re thinking, how their memory is,” Dr. Smith said.
Dr. Smith, who is also an unpaid member of the NFL’s Scientific Advisory Board, says there is no standard test for a concussion.
“Unfortunately, right now, there are 20 definitions of concussion, it’s crazy. It’s actually more than 20 so there are many different ways you can evaluate it and not one set agreement on what it is,” he said.
However, there are usually some symptoms that show up right away.
“The individual might be stumbling, they might be forgetful, not following instructions or their thinking could be very slow,” Dr. Smith explained.
Right after a concussion, there is an increased risk for more, which is why athletes are usually temporarily sidelined. But, there are a lot of unknowns about timing.
“We have no idea this period of vulnerability. Like I said, it’s probably an individual basis. I think some people recover really well quickly, do fine and others we know have persistent symptoms for months,” said. Dr. Smith.
We will now have to wait to see what happens to Wentz.
Smith also said he hopes a blood test will be developed to better diagnose concussions.