Patriots WR N’Keal Harry nearly quit football over concussions. Now he has another.
The New England Patriots’ injury report for their Week 9 matchup against the New York Jets is the length of a novella and one of the guys already ruled out for Monday night is N’Keal Harry, who is dealing with a concussion. He also missed last week’s game against the Buffalo Bills.
Head injuries are always of paramount concern, especially ones that keep players out for multiple weeks, but Patriots fans should be high alert because Harry’s football career nearly ended before it even began due to head injuries.
After suffering a couple of concussions in high school, Harry nearly quit football altogether, considering he didn’t have a long relationship with the game. He only started playing his freshman year.
“Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry’s concussion suffered in the Oct. 25 blowout home loss to the 49ers served a reminder of his history with head trauma, and how he almost stepped away from the game altogether after his initial years suiting up as a youngster,” writes ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson had relayed Harry’s history during the broadcast that day, and Harry has already been ruled out Monday for the second game in a row. As a freshman at Arizona State, Harry said: “Having concussions, especially at that age, you learn that if your head is bothering you or you feel you might have a concussion, [you’ve] got to tell somebody.”
And remember that brutal helmet-to-helmet hit he took from safety Quandre Diggs during Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks? It hasn’t been an easy year for Harry, which could explain his struggles outside of that contest.
Could Harry be considering hanging up his cleats if he continues to experience the troublesome effects of his concussion? We’ve already seen a number of early retirements that rocked the Pats in recent years, from Bryan Stork to Dustin Woodard to Rob Gronkowski.
The truth is we don’t know, but it’s certainly not a good sign given Harry’s concussion history dating back that early in his playing career. If his symptoms persist heading into Week 10, we can’t rule out this being a bad sign for Harry’s future in the NFL.