One of the scariest injuries a player can receive is a head injury. Once the brain has to start healing itself instead of just thinking, all hell can break loose in a hurry. Football’s junkyard is littered with players who were perfectly able-bodied but whose brains betrayed them after one concussion too many. And for those who want to play through them, Mike Webster’s story (as with countless other pros from the era) should be an effective enough deterrent.
So it’s with the most cautious of approaches that Ohio State deals with linebacker Tyler Moeller. The favorite to take over the starting OLB spot from departed Marcus Freeman remains hospitalized with what is, essentially, a severe complication of an undetected injury from a month ago.
As BUCKEYE XTRA reports, Moeller did not report to camp with the rest of the Buckeyes after he was wracked by seizures this weekend:
Linebacker Tyler Moeller remained hospitalized last night in fair condition at OSU Medical Center. Sources said Moeller suffered the injury in July when his head hit the ground while on a family trip to Florida. Some reports have said Moeller, 21, was punched.
Moeller was not immediately hospitalized. He returned to Ohio last week, and apparently suffered a seizure recently.
Yikes. While he’s reportedly “doing very well,” he’s expected to need 2-3 months to recover, and brain injuries aren’t exactly the type you can rush through rehab with through hard work, determination, or a high tolerance of pain. Then should he be cleared by doctors to begin practice in October (best case scenario, there), the likelihood that he’ll be in good enough game shape to take some snaps before the regular season is over is slim at best. With any luck, he’ll earn a medical redshirt if he wants it.
But again, this is all a best-case scenario. If the seizures don’t stop soon, he may not be let back on the field. And that’s as frustrating an end to a career that a player can ever have. His arms will work perfectly well and his legs can fly like anybody else’s on the field. But when the head, y’know, “goes,” then it really doesn’t matter, and the question turns into that uncomfortable territory of “quality of life.” Football’s not worth that nightmare.
Hope we see you in 2010, Tyler. Good luck.