The Jacksonville Jaguars signed Laurent Robinson during the 2012 free agency period to a 5-year, $32.5 million deal to be the teams go-to wide receiver, but injuries quickly derailed his season before it even started. Robinson suffered a concussion early in training camp before the season and then wound up suffering three more concussions before season's end.
As of late January, Robinson is still suffering the effects of those concussions, even though it's been nearly two months since he last played a game.
"Throbbing, pounding," Robinson told Andrea Kramer of NFL Network when she asked him how his head felt every day since the injuries. "I have a newborn baby and I just can't be around her crying because it's a repetitive noise. It just gives me headaches."
Robinson's wife explained that he's still sensitive to light, he can't watch television and they have to keep the house as dark as possible to help ease the issues.
"When he's not feeling well, there's not much he can do but lay down and rest," Robinson's wife, Kat, told Kramer.
Prior to the four he suffered with the Jaguars, Robinson told Kramer that from what he could recall, he suffered just one concussion in his career previously.
"This is too many," Robinson said about how he felt after the fourth concussion in Week 11 in the sit down interview. "I really love playing this game, but I do want to live. I just had a daughter, I want to be there for her down the line so I need to shut it down for the season.
"I thought if I passed those tests that I was able to go back out there," Robinson told Kramer when she asked why it took so many for him to call it a season. "I just wanted to get out there so bad."
"Unfortunately it was the wrong decision," Robinson said after a pause.
Robinson's decision shows the catch-22 the NFL and their players find themselves in with the issue of concussions. Players want to get back on the field, because that's how they've been brought up. You have to be tough, suck it up, and get back out there. Unfortunately with something like concussions, which are brain injuries, you can't simply just suck it up like you would if you got a hip stinger or sprained your ankle.
The Jaguars have dealt with multiple concussion issues in the past, with linebacker Clint Session suffering concussion like symptoms nearly nine months after his season was ended early in 2011. Session was placed on the PUP list prior to the 2012 season and then later released due to injury.
You can watch the full interview with Andrea Kramer here, but fair warning it's very sad. Being a parent I can understand the concern that Robinson and his wife have with his future and he faces a tough decision going forward. It would be in the Jaguars best interest to allow Robinson to make the decision on his own, and honor it. As it stands right now, the Jaguars have told Robinson to stay home and "rest his brain", but he will have to make a decision about what to do if he suffers another.
"I'm not ready to call it quits yet," Robinson said. "I'm ready to get my brain healed. That's the main thing I want to do."
Concussions are becoming a major issue in the NFL, leading the league to place independent neurological consultants on every sideline for the games. Some studies have shown a link between multiple concussions and Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia, which is something both Robinson and his wife expressed concerns with.
"I'm here doing it," Robinson told Kramer when she asked him if it was worth it. "I don't know if it's worth it or not. I've been playing for six years and I want to continue to play, but I still want to live until I'm 80-90 years old."