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Nemanja Vidic Took A Nasty Blow to the Head, Subbed Off at Halftime

Arsenal and ManU players bump heads-b

Concussions are again in the spotlight for the Premier League, this time after a series of nasty-looking incidents in the marquee Manchester United/Arsenal match Sunday afternoon. Last weekend Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris took a vicious knee to the head, yet finished up the final 12 minutes of the match despite losing consciousness according to manager Andre Villas-Boas.

On Sunday Manchester United’s Phil Jones knocked heads with Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny trying to win a ball inside the Gunners’ penalty box. Both players went to the ground dazed, but remained in the game after the medical staff looked them over.

Arsenal and ManU players bump heads-a

A few minutes later Manchester United keeper David De Gea smashed into teammate Nemanja Vidic with a jumping thigh straight to the defender’s noggin. This one looked much worse. The fearsome Serbian defender was prone on the ground for a while. When he finally got up he spit out a gob of blood and looked glassy-eyed. Fortunately Vidic was subbed off at halftime, avoiding a repeat of the Lloris situation.

Of course sitting at home on the couch watching the game hardly qualifies anyone to diagnosis a potential concussion or brain injury, but this is two straight weeks the Premier League — the most popular league in the world — has seen prominent players suffer blows to the head and stay in the game. It’s not a good look coming from across the Atlantic where brain trauma is such a prominent issue in regard to our version of football. 

Fortunately a week after the Lloris incident it appears as if a little progress has been made since Vidic wasn’t cleared to press on for the final 45 minutes.

As we’ve seen time and time again with the NFL, the old time-honored tenets of toughness and machismo should be thrown out the window when we’re talking about potential brain injuries. It’s not worth the risk of long-term consequences.

One suggestion? Perhaps there could be a rule if a player if forced to leave a game with a suspected concussion it doesn’t count against your three substitutions. Coaches might be less stubborn about leaving a possibly concussed player on the field knowing it wouldn’t cost them a sub.

Related: Tottenham Made the Wrong Call Leaving Hugo Lloris in Match Following Knee to the Head

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