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Football: Verica's concussion and Groh's concern

Jameel Sewell was pressed into action last weekend despite shoulder and ankle injuries because backup quarterback Marc Verica was ruled out of the game with a concussion. Verica was not in full uniform for the game, but his concussion had not been previously reported before last week’s injury report.

That’s in part because Verica’s injury was not discovered until the middle of the week. Last Wednesday, Verica told Virginia’s medical staff about symptoms that resembled a concussion. The medical staff examined Verica and determined he had “leftover effects” from a hit during the previous week’s loss to Miami.

Concussions have been in the news recently since a House committee researched data that suggests there’s a direct link between head injuries suffered while playing football and brain disease later in life.

A handful of prominent players in the NFL and college football have suffered concussions in recent weeks, including Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis and Philadelphia Eagles running Brian Westbrook, who suffered his second concussion in less than a month.

Groh said he has been cautious with concussions since his time with the New York Jets, when team physican Elliott Pellman was the head of the NFL’s concussion committee. One of Groh’s better players with the Jets, wide receiver Wayne Chrebet, struggled with concussions during the latter portion of his career.

“I think ultimately after I had left, that was part of the time frame in which he retired,” Groh said. “So, my experience with that had us well tuned into it when we came here.”

By Zach Berman  |  November 18, 2009; 10:45 AM ET
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