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Most Bengals polled don't think the NFL is committed to player safety

A handful of player polls are being released on Monday, ranging from the risk of concussions, to a far greater concern with knee injury.

Rob Carr

It's perhaps the biggest debate of our generation. Player safety. Concussions. How can the league apply a genuine effort to promote player safety without having a perception that they're only concerned because of lawsuits from retired players? Maybe something in the middle is more appropriate -- there is concern, but there is a "saving our collective butts" mentality.

Coley Harvey, who anonymously polled Bengals players, writes that all but one Bengals player (whom he polled) would play a league championship game with a concussion -- an injury that was once viewed so nonchalantly, now has become the greatest concern in the NFL.

According to an NFL survey, eighty-five percent of players said they'd play in the Super Bowl with a concussion. That number jumps to 90 percent for Bengals players. One player that wouldn't play, cited "uncertainty about his long-term health". Harvey followed that up with an inquiry if the NFL is committed to player safety. Fair enough.

"But perception, to many of them, didn't meet reality," writes Harvey. "To them, the reality is that they are, at least defensively speaking, paid hitmen, allowed to do whatever was necessary to stop and stymie their opponent."

That's why only two Bengals polled said they felt the NFL was committed to player safety. They were part of the 40 percent across the league who said the same. The other 60 percent agreed with the rest of the polled Bengals who said they didn't think the NFL was committed to player safety. If those players were able to see perception and reality as one in the same, they likely would have agreed with the 40 percent.

Players are far more worried about knee injuries, writes the USA TODAY.

USA TODAY Sports surveyed 293 players on 20 NFL teams and asked what body part they were most concerned about injuring in a game: 46% said knees or other parts of their legs, 24% said head and neck and 26% said none.