Ohio State lineman downplays concussion worries in weekly injury diary

Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Spor

Buckeye offensive tackle Jack Mewhort chronicles his assorted minor injuries throughout the regular season. Though he reported head-ringing and intense headaches after a pair of 2013 contests, Mewhort denies he suffered a concussion.

In an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State offensive tackle Jack Mewhort offered a detailed, game-by-game account of his assorted injuries during the Buckeyes' 2013 season. Though he has been healthy enough to play in all 13 of OSU's contests, Mewhort describes joint pain, cold tub treatments, and generalized next-day soreness as part of his weekly routine.

Mewhort also admits to having sustained some punishing hits from opposing defenders but also made it clear that he does not believe himself to have suffered a concussion at any point.

I have a little bit of head-ringing [one night after beating Wisconsin 31-24]. I don't want to say it's like a concussion, but definitely after a good hard hit or game like that, you feel it up top. That comes with the territory of playing offensive line. I'd feel like I was selling the team short if I didn't have that feeling. To me, it's kind of a relief to know you left it all out there.

...

Michigan is always the most-physical game of the year, and this game was no different. That was the hardest hitting game I ever played in. After the game, my head was ringing. It was like a really intense headache. I'm not going to say I had a concussion. I got a headache. I took a lot of impact that game. I'm sure I've got some good calluses on my head. My brain can handle it.

While "brain calluses" isn't exactly the kind of scientific vocabulary that breeds confidence in a diagnosis, given the increased attention being paid to head injuries across the whole of football, it's reasonable to assume that Mewhort was subjected to concussion tests and cleared by the Ohio State medical staff — assuming he reported his symptoms to the training staff.

Concussions forced Mewhort's former Buckeye teammate Andrew Sweat to retire from football shortly after signing an NFL contract with the Cleveland Browns. When speaking about what Sweat was facing in August, Mewhort admitted to feeling social pressure to keep injuries private.

Even when a player wishes to leave a game because of an injury, there's often an issue of perception. How he may be treated in a locker room can take precedent to long-term health.

"That's a tough situation," said Jack Mewhort, a senior offensive lineman for Ohio State. "There's kind of a stigma. You don't want to look soft or weak."

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