The NFL currently finds itself in a heated debate over concussions and the way it deals with their effects. After years trying to lessen the correlation between football and head injuries the way the tobacco industry tries to lessen the link between cigarettes and cancer, the league is slowly beginning to own up to the fact that its sport is a dangerous one and the effects of a concussion will affect a person detrimentally for the rest of their life.
Here at Syracuse the effects of concussions have come home in a sad way. Syracuse senior snapper and tight end Dalton Phillips was most likely going to end his playing career this Saturday against UConn. That choice was made for him when he sustained a "pretty severe" concussion against Louisville two weeks ago.
"It's tough," said Phillips, who has exhausted his eligibility. "At least for me, this coming game, the UConn game, is the last game of your career. You prepare for it mentally and you know. When you step on that field and you're playing your heart out and you don't realize it's going to be the last play you'll play, it's tough. It really is. Emotionally, it takes a different toll that being the last season is washed away."
Phillips was briefly unconscious and spent two days in the hospital. He still gets headaches but the severity seems to be going down. Hopefully, the long-term effects are slight. He's back in class and will finish out the term and he's expected to be on the sidelines this Saturday.