From Philadelphia Daily News:
Eagles running back Brian Westbrook has been relatively silent since the season ended about his health, the status of Donovan McNabb and other issues.
Westbrook spoke extensively in an interview with his former teammate Blaine Bishop, now a radio talk show host on WGFX in Nashville, Tenn.
Westbrook said he was not “completely healed” after his first concussion suffered against Washington in a Monday night game despite passing all the tests and waiting 3 weeks to return. He suffered a second concussion against San Diego, keeping him out of the lineup and essentially ending his effectiveness for the season.
Westbrook went into great length to talk about what he learned about concussions this season:
“You don’t think about it unless you had one. Unless you get one so they just don’t understand that if you continue to play with a concussion you run the risk of all different brain diseases to an early-on type of Alzheimer’s to early type of dementia and to forgetting things. As we all get older we tend to forget some things sometimes anyway but it gets worse and so forth and quite possibly death on some situations. A lot of people just do not know it, a lot of young kids. I didn’t even know before I even had my concussions all the repercussions of getting concussions. As a player you are always taught get back in there and play. Get back in there and play but the truth is, once I found out that, if you get back in there and play with a concussion even though if you want to play and you are feeling fine that you run the risk of really hurting yourself.
“I had a concussion October 25th. I think it was a Monday night game and I got knocked out and I was laid on the field, asleep on the football field. At that point I woke up and it was very clear I knew what was going on. I knew my surroundings. I knew everything. I had a slight headache. The next couple of days I found out that I had a concussion, a worse concussion than I had previously had thought. At that point you are trying to find out when is the best time to get back into the game. You have to of course wait until you all of your symptoms are gone. All of your headaches are gone when you are resting. All of the headaches are gone when you are having activity. They call it, with exertion… Then you have to pass a test that is called an impact test, which you take on the computer. It tests your reaction time. It tests memories and things like that with shapes and words. Once you are able to pass all of those tests then you have the opportunity to go back out there and play.