Preseason concussions continue to be headache

Posted: August 27, 2014

THE NUMBER, if accurate, is staggering.

So far, there have been 66 concussions in 49 NFL preseason games. That, according to @NFLconcussions, the Twitter feed that tracks such things.

Former NFL player Dave Pear isn't surprised.

"It's probably way more than that," he told the Daily News yesterday. "In the preseason, guys want to make teams, so they aren't going to say they're hurt."

It's not the concussions that worry Pear. It's what happens afterward.

Pear, who played a combined six seasons (1975-80) for the Baltimore Colts, Tampa Bay Buccanneers and Oakland Raiders, has a longstanding feud with the NFL regarding health benefits.

On his blog on, he lists 13 medical procedures he's had since 1981. And that doesn't include concussion-related problems.

Pear said the NFL has repeatedly turned down his attempts to get benefits under the league's Bell/Rozelle retirement plan. The same thing has happened to many other ex-players, including the late, great Johnny Unitas. In August of last year, former players agreed to a $765 million settlement to a concussion lawsuit filed against the NFL. Another suit was filed this year.

"I've had so many concussions," said Pear. "I was a nose tackle on a three-man line. My short-term memory is really bad. I've got vertigo. But the NFL doesn't want to foot the bill. I'm living on Social Security disability.

"I'm looking for justice for myself, and the players to come."

Pear said he accepts concussions and other injuries are going to occur, and that players have to be be better educated about their long-term effects.

"Players have to be able to make an educated choice," he said. "They have to be able to say, 'I'm gonna get hurt, but if I do, I've got a disability plan and access to medical treatment.' "

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