Jets Starter Admitted to Playing Through Concussion in 2023

D.J. Reed

Getty Jets CB D.J. Reed admitted to playing through concussion symptoms.

Concussions continue to be a big part of the NFL, and despite the increased awareness of them, New York Jets cornerback D.J. Reed admitted to playing through concussion symptoms in 2023.

ESPN reporter Stephen Holder wrote a piece on Friday, March 29 discussing why more players have begun to self-report concussions. The story focused on players like Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson, who self-reported a concussion during a Week 2 game.

Holder also highlighted an example of a player doing the opposite. Reed admitted not self-reporting his concussion symptoms prior to the Jets playing the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football, admitting that playing a nationally televised game played a factor in his decision.

That decision ultimately backfired for Reed, who ended up missing the following two games.

D.J. Reed Admitted He Was Wrong

Reed’s concussion symptoms got even worse after playing through the Jets-Chiefs game. Looking back on it, he now admits that he had made a mistake not reporting his symptoms.

“It didn’t feel right, but just the selfish part of me just wanted to play,” Reed told ESPN. “Going back and looking at it, any time you get a concussion, you’ve got to pull yourself out. Talking to the doctors, that could have been bad. Something terrible could have possibly happened, so definitely a lesson learned.”

Colts center and NFLPA executive committee member Ryan Kelly has been one of the bigger advocates among players when it comes to self-reporting concussion symptoms. He continues to advocate for players doing the right thing and keeping themselves safe.

“People saw a lot of those [former players] struggling later in life,” Kelly said. “I do think that players now think, ‘If this is what it takes, and then at 60, that’s what I look like, then no.’ I want to be able to remember my kids’ names. I want to be able to play with my grandkids. And that’s more important than playing with a concussion.”

Reed may have been disappointed to miss two games after not self-reporting his symptoms, but the long-term health impact for the Jets cornerback could have been much worse.

Concussions Are Still an NFL Issue

Although teams and players around the league are more away of concussions in today’s NFL, that doesn’t mean there haven’t still been issues.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett highlighted one of the bigger missed concussions from last season. Following a big hit during a game last December, Pickett was cleared to return to the field, only to later self-report his symptoms after playing another drive.

Pickett went on to miss the following game, but avoided more serious concussion-related issues by taking himself out of the game despite being cleared.

The NFL is hopeful that self-reporting will continue to help the league with concussions. Recent data showed that 43 percent of diagnosed concussions had some element of self-reporting, indicating that players are becoming more aware of the long-term issues that playing through a concussion can have.

With that kind of uptick in self-reporting, the league and its players can continue to keep themselves safe as the NFL continues to learn more about concussions.

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