One of the best QB’s in NFL history tweeted alarming medical advice to a “Young Buck” college football player. Brees’ has too much influence to use it for advice like this.
There is an obvious concern that a player may over extend himself if he can’t feel an injury. The pain response is a sign from your body to be careful, and numbing that can make the injury worse.
Although we can’t say for sure what Brees was referring to when he says “shoot it up” but we can infer. The League is much more careful on what can be “shot up” and how much in light of what we now know about pain killers. This has not always been the case though. Former players allegedly claim they were given hundreds, if not thousands, of injections over their career. Often, it would be several a game. Former players are reporting these injections as the beginning of addictions that have haunted them. Earl Campbell remembers being allegedly given pain pills from his trainer, something he never did playing college ball. Campbell has been open about his opiod addiction stemming from this time, and his rehab journey.
Of course, Brees’ was not suggesting that Ewers overuse injections. There is no reason to believe that Brees’ has overused them, himself. However, there is a history of abuse of injections in the NFL, and with what we now know about the opiod crisis, “shooting” medicine should be the last resort, not the go to protocol post-injury.
The moral of the story:
When you know better, you do better.
2001 was a different time. There was no concussion protocol, for example. Players were “tougher” back then. Brees played through five rib fractures and a collapsed lung in 2021. That sort of tenacity rings of the olden days when athletes played through broken limbs (Larry Wilson, Bob St. Clair, Terrell Owens, and more) and a likely spine contusion (Earl Campbell). While impressive, we can follow the health outcomes of former athletes and it just isn’t worth it.
Brees himself had multiple arm injuries – he had a “1 in 500” injury where he dislocated his shoulder, tore his labrum, and partially teared his rotator cuff in 2005. That injury likely contributed to the rotator cuff bruise he experienced in 2015. These injuries required missing games and affected throws so he should understand the importance of such an injury. Especially for a young player who hasn’t been able to establish a role for himself in the NFL yet. His oblique injury in 2014 altered his play, giving him “bad habits” and mentioned he wanted to come back very quickly, hiding how much it bothered him. A young player like Ewers does not need to develop bad habits so early in his career.
Do better, Brees. The next generation of QB’s need your wisdom and support.
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