Miller: Common sense needed in Toradol discussion


Miller: Common sense needed in Toradol discussion

There has been much discussion concerning Bears star middle linebacker Brian Urlachers interview with Andrea Kremer on HBOs Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. It was eye-opening for me as a former player to learn the news about the magic potion shot Toradol. I, along with Brian, and many other NFL players took the shot unaware of its medical risks. Obviously, news of Toradols destructive nature on a player joints, kidney, liver, and stomach are alarming. I have a few thoughts since digesting the news and thinking about it.

I have discussed this topic before on SiriusXM NFL radio. I personally place this topic in the category of player safety. All parties involved share responsibility concerning medications players ingestinject to perform on Sundays. The NFL, teams, team training staffs, team doctors, and players all share responsibility for players to make an informed decision when they elect to take powerful drugs. As a player, you are aware there are some inherent risks playing and are preached to at nauseum, through the NFLs drug policy, that you are responsible for what goes into your body. But I also believe the NFL and organizations are culpable for informing players as well when it comes to their safety. Specifically, when it comes to powerful medications injected into their bodies.

Certain teams staffs are better at communicating information than others and the NFL does conduct an annual doctor convention. This is a meeting through the NFL where all team doctors, trainers and staffs get together to discuss safety along with any moral, ethical responsibilities. Now whether they adhere to them is quite another discussion, but the NFL and clubs do conduct them.

I know it seems shocking to many to hear Urlacher acknowledge he will continue taking Toradol injections. But, for the record, this needs to be calmed down somewhat. Let me explain it this way. If you get a headache, you take an aspirin. Do you really know what is in an aspirin? Or how it can help or hurt your body? Most of us do not; we just know it takes our headache away. It is really the same thing. When I took my first Toradol shot before a game, I questioned the doctor as to what it does. The answer I received seemed reasonable and Toradol got me through some pinches with injuries like it did that particular day. Players are NOT receiving injections of Toradol everyday! Toradol is a tool utilized on game day enabling a player to perform his craft. Some players will never do it, some need it weekly and others like me would pick and choose occasions where it needed to be utilized.

I am not a doctor nor am I pretending to preach from the pulpit. But I think we can all inject a little common sense into this conversation. Common sense is something very rarely used even by most doctors' standards in moderation. There are risks and there are hazards to many demanding jobs like policeman, fireman, military and definitely playing professional football.

Bears Grades: Defense wears down under assault from Aaron Rodgers and Packers

Bears Grades: Defense wears down under assault from Aaron Rodgers and Packers

GREEN BAY, Wisc. — It was a bright spot, a small one on an otherwise dismal night of losing to the Green Bay Packers. But it was at least something.

After struggling for months to stay healthy and gain NFL weight, Leonard Floyd finally played like the ninth-overall pick of an NFL draft.

The rookie outside linebacker collected a sack in the first half, then exploded past Green Bay right tackle Brian Bulaga as part of stunt with fellow linebacker Willie Young on the third play of the second quarter for a second sack of Aaron Rodgers, one that came with a strip of the football and recovery in the end zone.

"We had a great play called,” Floyd said. “Willie came down and picked the guard for me and I looped around and the play was done and I made it. It felt great [to get a touchdown], but at the end of the day I wanted a win."

That was one of the very few bright spots as the Packers piled up 311 yards through three quarters, at times using wide receivers Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery as running backs because of injuries. The drumbeat continued with touchdowns on three straight Green Bay possessions in the late third and early fourth quarters.

The defense has allowed 23 or more points in five of seven games this season, with the Packers rolling off consecutive touchdown drives of 85, 84 and 57 in the second half as the Bears were limited to 2:49 time of possession in the fourth quarter.

“It helps when you’re playing [defense], to actually have a little bit of a break,” head coach John Fox said. “Unfortunately in the second half, I think that probably caught up with us a little bit.”

The defense had its fullest complement of personnel yet this season, with outside linebackers Floyd and Pernell McPhee both active (McPhee for the first time this year following offseason knee surgery), in addition to starting cornerbacks Bryce Callahan and Tracy Porter, both of whom were injured during the Jacksonville game. It was not enough.

[BEARS GRADES: Quarterback woes take offense to new low in loss to Packers]

Defensive line: F

The interior of the line was quiet for most of the game, with wide receivers lining up as running backs averaged more than five yards per carry. Cornelius Washington had the only hit by a defensive lineman on Rodgers as the line rarely collapsed the pocket with center-push or even kept him in the pocket.

Linebacker: B-

Floyd started after two games inactive and a zero stat sheet vs. Detroit. He struggled too often getting disengaged from Green Bay left tackle David Bakhtiari at the outset before breaking through with second effort for his first career solo sack. That was topped by the strip-sack and recovery for a touchdown in the third quarter. Floyd had a third hit on Rodgers and a tackle for loss.

"It is very tough,” Floyd said. “He gets the ball out pretty quickly. You just have to keep rushing every snap. He is at his best when he is scrambling around playing backyard football."

McPhee was a welcome addition to a slumping defense, even in his limited capacity (19 snaps). McPhee was not credited with any tackles but was surprisingly fast off the ball initially, and got penetration to alter running lanes and some pressure on Rodgers, although he appeared to slow somewhat, not unexpected considering how limited he has been throughout the year because of the surgery.

Sam Acho provided some edge pressure with two hits on Rodgers and a pass deflected. Jerrell Freeman had a quarterback hit and delivered a game-high 13 tackles.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Secondary: D

The secondary was forced to cover long into plays because of absent pressure on Rodgers but the coverage had its own problems with an offense that threw 56 times but was never intercepted. Three Green Bay receivers totaled double-digit receptions: Davante Adams (13), Cobb (11) and Montgomery (10).

Cre’Von LeBlanc started at corner as the Bears opened with six defensive backs, and delivered a goal-line stop in the first quarter, stuffing Montgomery, who was used as a running back because of injuries to the Green Bay backfield. LeBlanc finished with seven tackles and a hit blitzing Rodgers.

Porter matched up with Jordy Nelson and allowed the Green Bay wideout just one catch on four targets through three quarters. But breakdowns were deadly, allowing the Packers to stage their two longest scoring drives of the season in the second half. The second came when Porter and safety Harold Jones-Quartey both covered the same man in the end zone early in the fourth quarter, leaving Adams alone for his second TD catch of the game.

Adrian Amos interfered with Nelson to give the Packers a 44-yard penalty pickup in the first quarter. De’Vante Bausby had a number of solid plays despite a lack of meaningful pressure from the front. But Bausby had two holding penalties on the Packers’ second fourth-quarter scoring drive.

"There were a lot of penalties out there.,” Bausby said. “We had a good scheme and plan, but we just didn't finish in the second half as a group. Facing Rodgers is a challenge, but I felt like our play calling was excellent. We just didn't finish."

Special teams: B

Connor Barth converted from 39 yards to tie the game in the second quarter. It was Barth’s seventh in his last eight attempts. Pat O’Donnell turned in another strong night punting, averaging 43.8 net on five punts. Coverage helped keep three of those inside the 20.

Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for Bears at QB after Brian Hoyer suffers broken arm?


Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for Bears at QB after Brian Hoyer suffers broken arm?

Lance Briggs, Alex Brown and Jim Miller break down where the Bears go at QB following Brian Hoyer’s injury and evaluate the defense’s gutsy performance on Thursday night against the Packers despite numerous injuries. Plus, a look at the big picture and who can help the Bears down the road.

Check out the latest edition of the Bears Talk Podcast here: