The truth is that Collie has now been exposed to multiple incidents of significant brain trauma in a short period of time, jeopardizing his season at the very least. Why quibble over whether this was concussion number 2, 3 or 12? One could probably make an argument that every time a football player is tackled, he suffers a concussion, however minor… the brain floats in the skull and is jostled at least a little bit. Think about earthquakes. (Having lived in California most of my life, I think about them a lot!) Geophysicists carefully classify earthquakes as “main shocks,” i.e., an original disruption along a fault line; or “aftershocks,” i.e., a follow-on disruption that was triggered by the original one. Aftershocks can sometimes occur minutes, weeks or even years after the original quake… and can sometimes be of higher magnitude than the original (technically reclassifying the original as a foreshock, but work with me here). Here’s the thing… to the homeowner, freeway driver or office tenant, whether an earthquake is classified as a main shock or “just an aftershock,” knick-knacks are still falling off the shelves, bridges are still collapsing and buildings are still swaying back and forth. It does not matter one bit how some university scientist classifies the event… the impact can still be devastating, and the first quake can weaken the infrastructure enough that it is more vulnerable to a second or third quake until it is fully repaired. Obviously, the long-term personal impacts of concussions cannot be compared to that of earthquakes, but I drew the analogy to argue a point… what matters more than whether Collie has suffered 2 or 3 concussions is whether he will have time to fully recover and make a determination of how to proceed with his career. Some will argue that it DOES matter, that there is BLAME to be laid at someone’s feet for trotting Collie out “too soon.” The reality is that doctors simply don’t know enough about concussions – or the human body in general – to ever be 100% certain how a given individual will respond. I trust that the independent medical staff set a conservative threshold for clearing him based on the available research. The issue is that there simply isn’t enough information or technology yet to know when the player is fully ready after the first shock.