Jeff Herrod was a classic Colt, a defender with a tough nose and a knack for hard-hitting. Now at the age of 46 Herrod’s body and quality of life is taking the hit. Herrod and many others believe the problems with which former NFL players suffer are a result of the era and understanding of the game at the time:
“Over my career, I didn’t understand the shifting of the brain,” he said, “and that a ‘ding’ was a concussion.”
Herrod said he was never diagnosed with a concussion, which occurs when the brain, usually cushioned by fluid, crashes against the skull because of a hard hit to the head.
Herrod often delivered those hits. To keep going, he always had an ammonia capsule tucked in his pants.
“If I got dinged on the field, I’d (sniff) an ammonia capsule to stay on the field,” Herrod said. “I was the leader of the defense. I couldn’t leave the field.”
Mike Chappell’s piece covers Herrod’s struggles along with those of more than 3,000 former players who are currently suing the NFL over the concussions they suffered throughout the years.