Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Concussions Cause for Concern for Smeenge, Jaguars

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Concussions Cause for Concern for Smeenge, Jaguars

Article excerpt

A week ago tonight, Donelle Smeenge made it a point to wake

her husband up several times during the night.

That's because she wanted to make sure he was still alive.

Smeenge sustained a concussion in last Sunday's preseason

victory over the 49ers, causing great anxiety for his wife, his

family and the Jaguars' organization.

The concern is there because that concussion was Smeenge's

third of the preseason, meaning a pattern is developing.

A pattern for concern.

"Any time you get a frequency of it happening, and it doesn't

look like it's been from big hits, there's definitely a

concern," said Smeenge. "Particularly when it may concern you

down the road, in the future."

CAT scan and neurological tests showed that Smeenge is fine for

now. But any time there are continual problems with the head,

there is always a red flag thrown up.

That's why Donelle Smeenge woke her husband so many times that

night. Her husband had come home from work that night with a

throbbing headache, his vision had been blurred and, for a time,

he had ringing in his ears.

"I know my wife and my close family are very concerned about

it," said Smeenge. "It's a scary thing for them; it's a scary

thing for me."

Here's how scary: If it continues, he would consider walking

away from the game.

"It's not worth having physical problems down the road," he

said. "I'll keep going and see what happens. But if it continues

to happen, I'm going to have to think more and more serious

about it [retiring]. I don't think it's to that point yet, and

hopefully it won't get that way."

"I hope it's not that bad," said Michael Huyghue, the Jaguars'

vice president of football operations. "He's an outstanding

player, and he's important to us. But when you start getting

concussions, it's something to be concerned about."

The concussion Smeenge sustained against the 49ers was his

worst to date -- by far. Chasing down quarterback Steve Young,

Smeenge collided with safety Dana Hall, his helmet violently

meeting Hall's helmet.

"I remember chasing Steve and then hitting Dana, but then I

went blank for a few seconds," said Smeenge. …

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