Is the money worth the long-term damage?


Carolina Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst has been diagnosed with post-traumatic amnesia after entering concussion protocol nearly a month ago. The news was revealed by his father, Jerry Hurst, who stated that Hayden received the diagnosis from an independent neurologist. Jerry also added that Hayden’s recovery has been slow and uncertain, asking for prayers.

Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) is a relatively uncommon symptom of concussions, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It can affect various aspects of a person’s life, including memory, consciousness, motor skills, and behavior.

In light of his injury, Hayden posted on social media to provide an update on his condition. He expressed his gratitude for the support he has received and clarified that while the concussion was a scary experience, it is not career-ending. Hayden mentioned that he is starting his return to play this week, with hopes of making it back for the last few weeks of the season.

The article raises the question of whether it is worth sacrificing one’s body and mind for a career in the NFL, especially considering the potential long-term effects of concussions. Hayden Hurst, who will be 32 years old when he likely hits the open market again, is currently the 17th-highest-paid tight end in the league. However, the position of tight end is not known for its longevity, particularly for receiving-style players like Hurst.

The article also criticizes the Carolina Panthers as a directionless franchise that isn’t doing enough to support its players, particularly on offense. It points out that the team’s lack of direction may further discourage players like Hurst from risking their long-term health for a team that doesn’t prioritize their well-being.

The article references previous discussions with concussion experts, particularly in the context of Tua Tagovailoa’s head trauma. The co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, Chris Nowinski, expressed concerns about Tagovailoa playing again after his injury. This raises the question of why Hurst would choose to subject himself to the potential risks of another concussion after such a significant injury.

Ultimately, the article questions the value of long-term cognition and well-being for athletes like Hayden Hurst. While he has already secured life-changing wealth for himself and his family, the article asks how much his long-term health and cognitive function are worth to him.

In conclusion, Hayden Hurst’s diagnosis of post-traumatic amnesia highlights the potential risks and consequences of concussions in professional football. It raises important questions about the long-term health and well-being of athletes and whether the potential rewards of a career in the NFL outweigh the potential risks.

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