The recent collapse of Navy running back, Will McKamey, left many with the assumption that a violent tackle left another talented football player with a traumatic brain injury. However, recent reports by his parents suggest that the injury occurred during a non-contact drill, that did not involve any tackling. According to an article in the Baltimore Sun, McKamey, who is a sophomore from Tennessee, fell to the ground on the practice field. He had to be taken by helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he has remained in a coma since undergoing surgery on Monday.
In response to widespread concern about the Navy athlete, his parents authored an email, which was distributed by the school’s athletic department. In the message, they explained that the injury occurred during one of the first spring practices, where there is typically no physical contact between the players. The email also asserted that Navy football coaches carefully reviewed footage of the entire practice and found no evidence of trauma to McKamey’s person.
According to the report, the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board often requires Navy athletes to sign a waiver before being allowed to participate in football. Though it is not known whether McKamey’s parents signed one of these forms, sources reportedly state that it is likely, especially considering the fact that he suffered two brain injuries during his senior year in high school. Regardless of his challenges, McKamey was named “Mr. Football” for the state of Tennessee in 2012. This latest injury is the third that he has suffered in only 18 months.
Prevention and Monitoring
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises coaches and parents to keep track of player head injuries through out the season. According to the report, athletes with multiple concussions should be medically evaluated before and during the season. Neurocognitive tests, also called baseline tests, can be done at the beginning of the season to determine normal brain functioning. The tests are completed using memory assessments, problem solving skills and concentration evaluations. These tests can be conducted again, in response to any concussions that occur during the season. This not only assists with prevention, but it also creates a system to continuously monitor the health of players.
McKamey’s family asserts that he was medically cleared following his last brain injury in high school. According to the family statement, McKamey was “seen by four different neurosurgeons, and had 4-6 CAT scans and MRI’s to rule out any issue and clear him for contact.” The Navy athletic department is also speaking about McKemay’s fitness to play, reportedly stating that he would not have been purposely placed in a dangerous situation. Officials assert that the reasons behind McKamey’s injuries are completely unknown.
If you or your athlete has recently suffered a brain injury, you should speak with an experienced brain injury attorney. The attorneys of Levin & Perconti have the knowledge and skill, to aggressively advocate for you and your athlete to pursue compensation.
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