Carolina Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst officially entered concussion protocol nearly a month ago. Now, according to his father Jerry, the 30-year-old has been diagnosed with post-traumatic amnesia.
The elder Hurst revealed that his son received the diagnosis from an independent neurologist, and added to the post on X: “Slow recovery, don’t know when he’ll be back. Prayers appreciated!”
The Cleveland Clinic notes that post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) is one of the more uncommon symptoms of concussions. PTA can affect one’s memory, state of consciousness, motor skills, and behavior among other things.
On Thursday, Hayden posted for the first time since suffering the concussion to clarify his injury status.
“I appreciate everyone reaching out & checking on me,” Hurst wrote. “I suffered a pretty nasty concussion against the Bears a few weeks ago & don’t remember up to 4 hours after the game. Scary situation but the Panthers have been incredible walking me through this process.
“While it was scary, it is NOT career-ending. I’m starting my return to play this week, so fingers crossed I make it back for the last few weeks! God Bless & Keep Pounding!!!!”
Is it worth sacrificing your body — and more importantly, your mind — to be the 17th-highest-paid tight end in the league? Hurst will be 32 years old when he likely hits the open market again. Only six tight ends in the league are currently above the age of 32. Three of them hit free agency this offseason. One of them is Taysom Hill, a tight end-quarterback-running back hybrid. One is Travis Kelce.
This isn’t a position with longevity, especially for receiving-style tight ends like Hurst. The Carolina Panthers are a directionless franchise who aren’t doing much to help their players — especially on offense.
Deadspin has spoken to concussion experts before. In the wake of Tua Tagoviola’s head trauma last season, Chris Nowinski, the co-founder, and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, said the Miami Dolphins’ QB shouldn’t play again in 2022.
After such a scary and impactful injury, why would Hurst choose to subject himself to this again?
Hurst has secured life-changing wealth for you and your family, and there isn’t much left for you to earn. How much is his long-term cognition worth to him?