Rookie linebacker Leonard Floyd was living his dream last season as a top-10 pick for the Chicago Bears. Then he got carted off the field after a concussion against the Giants in Week 11. He returned only two weeks later, and then in Week 16 he suffered his second concussion of the year on Dec. 24 against the Redskins, putting him on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.
If the story of Floyd’s rookie season doesn’t scare you, then what happened (or didn’t happen) after the season might. Floyd said he didn’t feel normal again until February, according to the Chicago Sun-Times:
“It took me two months to really feel like I was back to myself,” he said. “I was just at the house, relaxing, getting my mind back together. After those two months I felt back.”
Here’s more from Floyd on how the concussions affected his day-to-day life:
“You just don’t feel normal, you know it’s this thinking part, like you don’t think the same,” Floyd said. “I wasn’t thinking like I normally would think and then I’d be staring off in space some times instead of paying attention.”
Floyd said he gradually improved.
“Day by day, I was able to focus more and my mind wasn’t all racing everywhere and I was able to lock in on things,” he said.
We all know the NFL has a concussion problem, but it’s good to see more players talking openly about the injury’s effects. Retired tight end Jermichael Finley recently wrote an essay for the Players’ Tribune about the injuries that ended his career. Then again, on the other side you’ve got star quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew Brees not wanting to tell even their spouses if they suffered a concussion.
Fortunately, Floyd is smart enough to take active steps toward avoiding another concussion. Both concussions last year were attributed to poor technique, and Floyd told the Sun-Times improving his tackling technique has been a focus this offseason.