The word on Troy Polamalu was not good last night. As the Pittsburgh Steelers’ star defender went down early in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs, it was clear that he was down because of a head injury and later Michelle Tafoya of Sunday Night Football’s crew reported that concussion-like symptoms were keeping him out of the game. Given the NFL’s stance on head injuries coming into this year, it was no surprise that they kept Polamalu out the rest of the game.
But this also does not bode well for the future. Polamalu was already removed from a game just one month ago for the same thing (against the Jaguars in October) and this is a continual issue with Polamalu. This article back in 2008 references his seventh career concussion — a startling number for any person or player, let alone someone who had so many in such a short amount of time. He’s already had two possible concussions this year. How many is simply too many?
The Steelers are definitely not the same without Polamalu, and he’s one of the best safeties in the NFL. There’s no denying his on-field impact and his spirit of of the field that makes him such a popular player. But at some point, multiple concussions and head injuries will make life after the NFL difficult to enjoy. There’s a major decision ahead for both the player and the team at this point.