Friday Fire: In Regards to the Deaths of Sean Taylor and Chris Henry, Should the NFL Require Injured Players to Travel With Teams?

This is rarely mentioned when normal happens and despite knowing these two unfortunate deaths could have happened anyway, there is no better time to speak on this issue. Players not playing, particularily in the NFL, are almost estranged from their teams. Most are not in weekly team meetings, obviously aren’t on the practice field and most likely watching the game from their own couches. There are many personalities around the league who are not good locker room fits when not playing but I think this is something that should be looked into now sooner than later.

21 Responses to “Friday Fire: In Regards to the Deaths of Sean Taylor and Chris Henry, Should the NFL Require Injured Players to Travel With Teams?”

  1. Matthew Fudge says:

    I don’t know what can be done. You can’t expect the team to act as a babysitter for an injured player.

  2. David says:

    No. That would be like my employer requiring me to come to work when I am sick, just to keep something else from happening to me.

    I wouldn’t go for that–would you in a similar situation?

  3. mizzo says:

    Shouldn’t he be there to cheer his team on? This ain’t the post office.

  4. mizzo says:

    Point is if both players were with their respective teams they might be alive. I’m sure Sean Taylor would have given his life for his family and his presence saved their lives, but what if circumstances were different?

  5. Miranda says:

    Actually Mizzo, I’ve often wondered why the guys still weren’t required to be actively involved with the other aspects of the team instead of just being completely away….like you said, this aint the post office.

  6. kos says:

    Miranda, Mizzo –

    I’ve seen some players speak on this in papers and on tv. When you’re injured, especially being shut down for the year, it’s like you don’t exist. You’re not a part of the game plan, therefore, the rest of the team goes on with their business like you’re not there. I think that’s one reason players rush back from injury so fast. Some make sure that they hang out with coaches so they can stay involved with the team (and possibly get a jump on what it’s like to coach after their playing days).

    Miz, I know you have a better idea of this than me. Would requiring an injured player to travel with the team require a change in the CBA by the players or is it something that the league can change?

  7. Okori Wadsworth says:


    I would say that maybe they should come in to the facility for treatment on gamedays instead of being allowed to stay home.

    However, there are some injuries where airline pressure will exacerbate them. (concussions for instance, and anything with swelling.) Unless you want the guys to take private buses to the game site….. I do not know what can be done.

  8. Temple3 says:

    I would imagine that this is such a profound violation of one’s labor rights that this approaches bonded servitude.

  9. Mizzo says:

    Two deaths is reason enough to look at this.

    I have a couple of NFL players on speed dial. I’ll ask their opinion off the record.

    All of you have valid points. There’s the CBA, specific injuries that would be affected by flight and also by standing or even sitting on the sidelines and basic labor rights in general.

    Do any of you have opinions on the circumstances or do you feel they just couldn’t be avoided?

  10. Temple3 says:

    I’m not in the practice of playing ‘g’-od with grown men.

    If the question is about “root causes” — neither Sean Taylor nor Chris Henry are dead BECAUSE they were injured and at home. Those were the circumstances surrounding their respective deaths, but the root causes were different — and in the control of those players (on some level).

    Most men would rather have FREEDOM than SECURITY. This was the fundamental promise of the slaveholder. “You are safer here — working for me than you are in the rugged jungles of your homeland.”

    This is no time to surrender RIGHTS for the promise of SAFETY. This is a time to embrace RESPONSIBILITIES to one another and to ourselves. In times of crisis, the last thing I’m giving up is a RIGHT.

    RIGHTS are hard fought and must be protected to the death…otherwise all of our communities (local, regional, familial, national, international) are a sham. There is a better way and it doesn’t require adults to cede their freedoms.

  11. Okori Wadsworth says:

    I agree with T3. Just because 2 people die does not mean you don’t allow them off time.

    I could die walking outside the job on my saturday. That doesn’t mean ACS can mandate me stay in my house on the weekends.

  12. Mizzo says:

    Well said fellas. Just thought this was something that should be discussed either way. Just sad two good brothas are dead I guess.

  13. Okori Wadsworth says:

    What I would say, Mizz, is that the risks outweigh the reward.

  14. Mizzo says:

    I’d rather be judged by 12 then carried by 6…

  15. KevDog says:

    i’d rather fight than switch.

  16. Mizzo says:

    For me this is a team issue. The Father, athlete and coach in me would want to be on the sideline. My son breaks his leg in football and I’d tell him to get his ass on the sidelines and support his team. I don’t get the issue. This ain’t about selling out or any of that bs. That’s crazy. This is about being there for my team to make that goal happen. Straight up. I could give a damn about CBA, labor laws, injuries, public scrutiny or anything of the sort. I want to be there when we win and definitely there when we lose.

  17. Eric Daniels says:

    This is going to seem like I am repeating the same thing others have said but no, because you have players who dont like injured players and aren’t contributing to the game plan. Check out “Jim Brown All- American” where Paul Warfield who was injured in 1964 gets reamed by Jim Brown for joking with teamates before a game and in Brown’s words “taking their focus off the game”. Sean Taylor and Chris Henry were unfortuante incidents that really don’t happen to the majority of NFL Players who are generally injured.

  18. David says:

    In addition to what I said earlier, I would say that requiring the players to be with the team because they might otherwise get into trouble is like not allowing them to drive because they might get into an accident.

  19. Mizzo says:

    They’ve done it on every other level. Every single one.

  20. Mizzo says:

    Talked to a former player who said players do everything in their power to either be in the sideline or in the owners box when injured. The league for the most part, but also the player’s association, want less people on the sideline because of potential injury (liability). There are a lot of injured players on the sideline but those are ones who remain mobile.

    You rarely…if ever…see players with crutches or wearing slings.

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