After sustaining multiple concussions resulting in his absence from the field in over a year, it may be time for Jahvid Best to hang it up.
The Lions' running back was placed on the physically unable to perform list on August 27 and hasn't played since he suffered a concussion on October 16 against the San Francisco 49ers. This was his second in his three years in the NFL.
On October 9, head coach Jim Schwartz revealed that not only was Best engaging in "some return-to-play protocol" but that he was "in the best shape he’s been since he was a rookie." Yet almost one year after his concussion, the Lions announced that Best would not be cleared to play.
Best has a long history with head injuries. In addition to the concussion on October 16, he was injured for the same reason a couple months prior in the preseason. He also had two concussions in college while at California.
If the Lions' medical staff determined he could not play after missing an entire year, it's obvious Best's injuries are more serious than we assumed.
We've already seen how just one concussion can severely impact a player both physically and emotionally. With increasing awareness of the long-term effects of concussions on the brain, the NFL cannot afford to take Best's situation lightly.
If he returns to the field and is hit hard, it may induce another concussion or worse leave him permanently injured. So far we know he's had four concussions. Who knows how serious his injuries truly are?
The NFL allows a three-week window for teams to activate players on the PUP list and it is quickly closing. Best clearly hasn't made any significant improvements in 12 months and it is unlikely he will do so in just three weeks.
A professional football career is only temporary. For the sake of his health and his life, Jahvid Best should retire.