Miller: Common sense needed in Toradol discussion

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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.

Brandon Marshall doesn't remember 3 TD game from Bears-49ers in 2014 because he was on pain pills

Brandon Marshall doesn't remember 3 TD game from Bears-49ers in 2014 because he was on pain pills

Remember back in 2014 when the Bears rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the 49ers 28-20 in San Francisco on Sunday Night Football?

Well, Brandon Marshall doesn't.

And he had three of the four touchdown catches, two of them coming in the last quarter.

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The former Bears wide receiver, who had been dealing with a high ankle sprain, said he took pain pills before the game and doesn't recall much of it, including the incredible one-handed grab that went viral.

"I don't really remember much about that game because I worked really hard to get back from a high ankle (sprain)," Marshall said during a conference call Wednesday. "I'll say it, I took a couple pain pills that masked the pain. I really wasn't supposed to play. I came back from a high ankle (sprain) within 10 days. I was supposed to be out four to six weeks. I don't remember much from that game. I just remember catching those balls. And that was pretty much it."

If only Bears fans could forget that season entirely, which ended in a 5-11 record and the end of the Marc Trestman era.

Bears win over 49ers nets DE Akiem Hicks NFL defensive honor

Bears win over 49ers nets DE Akiem Hicks NFL defensive honor

It may have been just a distant similarity to players on an MLB cellar-dweller earning a Cy Young or MVP award (which happens in Chicago, a lot – Andre Dawson, Ernie Banks twice), but to the Bears it matters. Defensive end Akiem Hicks was named NFC defensive player of the week after his dominating performance in the Bears win last Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers, and he is not alone among Bears getting recognition after one of their few victories.

Never mind that the victory moved the Bears to 3-9 and came over a team losing its 11th straight game. What Hicks accomplished – two sacks, 10 tackles, a quarterback hit, a forced fumble – was being a force in the Bears’ domination of the 49ers and has been part of the emotional core of a team that has lost but not folded.

“It’s easy to say, ‘We’re not getting the results we want,’ but guys have invested,” Hicks said. “I’ve told guys, ‘just think about the hours you’ve invested, to get your body and mind ready for a 16-game season. Why would you put all that work in and then, when you don’t get the results you want, just quit?’"

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Jordan Howard is one of the nominees for the FedEx Air & Ground NFL player of the week. Howard, who posted his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the year, could be a double-winner: He also is among the nominees for Pepsi NFL rookie of the week, as is teammate Leonard Floyd (two sacks, safety, four tackles).

Voting on the latter two awards is still open.

Hicks’ play vs. San Francisco boosted him to a career-best six sacks, and he credited Bears coaches afterwards with giving him opportunities to rush the passer, not simply be utilized as a run-stopper. He has been everything and perhaps a little more than the Bears anticipated when they signed him this offseason to a two-year contract worth $10 million, with $5 million guaranteed.

“I think he's done well,” said defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. “It's a credit to him, a credit to Jay [Rodgers, defensive line coach]. Akiem has kept improving throughout the season, and he's been one of the guys that have been there each and every week, playing a lot of plays for us, and he's been a steady bell cow for us in there.”