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What's Health Got to Do with It?

Doctors and a former NFL athlete talk about the risks and treatments of concussions.

Most people who say they've had a concussion say they sought out medical care at the time.
Science Photo Libra/Getty Images
Most people who say they've had a concussion say they sought out medical care at the time.

HBO’s Hard Knocks, now in its 18th season, follows an NFL team through the preseason up until the first regular season game. It packs an emotional wallop as you watch high-stakes team decisions, who makes the cut and who gets injured along the way. High-velocity collisions are a mainstay in the show, often resulting in concussions.

These injuries are not limited to football. From gymnastics to equestrian sports, concussions are considered a hazard of the job for many professional athletes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that every year in the U.S., between 1.6 million and 3.8 million athletes, both professional and recreational, sustain concussions. That's about 10% of all contact sport athletes becoming concussed each year.


  • Ben Utecht, Super Bowl-winning tight end for the Colts, retired due to a concussion.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, Henry Ford Health Director, Kutcher Clinic for Sports Neurology; team neurologist, U.S. Olympic Ski & Snowboard team; director, NBA Concussion Program; neurology advisor, NFL Players’ Association, NHL Players’ Association, Major League Soccer Players’ Association; executive committee member, International Congress for Athlete Brain Health.
  • Dr. Javier Cardenas, medical director, Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center, Barrow Neurological Institute.
  • Dr. Bert Vargas, neurologist; director, American Medical Response motorsports neurotrauma program, AMR/NASCAR safety team.
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Katherine Hobbs was Associate Producer of talk shows at WJCT until 2022.