Malcolm Jenkins, who notably played a good portion of a game in 2015 with a concussion, was recently featured in a video by GQ aimed at young football players to educate them on how to smartly handle concussions during games.
The video begins with Jenkins discussing the game against the Cowboys in 2015, when he suffered a concussion and played through what he would later describe as “a fog.”
“I didn’t feel like the hit was big,” Jenkins says in the video. “When I watched it on tape, it wasn’t a huge hit. I didn’t black out. I felt a little woozy when I stood up, but I literally could not remember Cole Beasley scored a touchdown on me earlier in the game. I had no clue. I saw the replay and I’m like, ‘What? When did that happen?’ That’s what I grew up on. Just, ‘Oh, you got dazed,’ or, ‘You just got your bell rung,’ when in all actuality, it’s like, no, your brain just pretty much shut your body off. Now it’s restarting.”
The video also features Cameron Jordan and Charles Johnson. The three players spend the duration of the three-minute video trying to explain to kids who play football how to be proactive about protecting themselves if they suffer a head injury.
Jenkins recalls a tackling drill from his youth, which is when many players first learn the ‘play or get replaced’ mentality that causes players to push through dangerous injuries.
“I remember a tackling drill where, as a kid, I’m learning how to play, and I’m going against somebody who’s way bigger than me,” Jenkins says. “He runs me over, and then the coach is yelling at me like, ‘Do you want to go again?’ And in that instance, I remember, like, ‘OK, I either have to cower down and look like I’m afraid, or I’ve got to kind of psych myself up into doing this over again.”
Jenkins also says in the video that since his concussion, he’s been more proactive with teammates, and has on more than one occasion diagnosed a concussion in a teammate.
“A lot of times, I’ve had to tell on my own teammates, when I think they have a concussion,” he says. “And almost every time I’ve done it, they have. And I don’t think any of my teammates has ever been upset with me for doing it.”
Here’s the video in full:
NFL players to high-schoolers: be man enough to admit when you're hurt pic.twitter.com/LFgUZ4NYfu— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) January 11, 2017
It’s a worthwhile watch for anyone who watches football, but especially for parents with kids of football-playing age. It’s a dangerous sport. Jenkins’ message here is a valuable one.