Wednesday, September 6, 2000
Aikman's vision, memory shaken by latest
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By JAIME ARON
AP Sports Writer
IRVING, Texas (AP) When Troy Aikman got up from his fourth
sack, everything looked blurry out of one eye. So he started
looking for the contact lens he figured had been knocked loose.
Thing is, he hasn't worn contacts since having laser surgery
more than a year ago.
Vision problems and slight memory loss were among the early symptoms
Aikman felt Sunday after suffering the ninth concussion of his
career. As of Tuesday night, the Dallas quarterback still had
a headache and some dizziness.
Despite it all, Aikman told his agent, Leigh Steinberg, he's
determined to continue playing football maybe as soon
as Sunday against Arizona.
I talked to him an hour ago and he has not made a final
decision, Steinberg said late Tuesday. It's partly
going to be a reaction to his symptoms.
Troy's tough, but I'm hopeful he'll sit out a week.
Steinberg said he and Aikman really haven't talked
about retirement because this latest head injury is not as severe
as either of the two he suffered last season. And, earlier this
year, a comprehensive exam showed that none of his previous injuries
caused permanent damage.
In essence, they gave him a clean bill of health,
Steinberg always encourages his clients not to take any risks
after suffering head injuries. His pleading helped convince Steve
Young to retire after symptoms lingered long after a concussion
With Aikman, Steinberg's biggest fear is that he'll return too
soon and be susceptible to another concussion. Young's last hit
came a week after an undiagnosed concussion.
Someone who has had one concussion has a greater chance
of a second in close proximity to the first, Steinberg
said. The safer route is to sit out a week.
Aikman is well aware of the risks. He's attended several seminars
organized by Steinberg that featured leaders in the study of
concussions and the quarterback and agent have met privately
Troy has made a major effort to educate himself,
Steinberg said. Part of being cautious and careful was
making those doctor visits this offseason.
Steinberg said there were no plans for Aikman to visit those
doctors again to make sure things are still OK. That could change
if his symptoms get worse or don't go away.
Aikman was hurt during a season-opening 41-14 loss to Philadelphia
on Sunday. A heavy blitz led to four sacks and five incompletions,
including an interception returned for a touchdown.
Aikman was taken to a hospital for tests, then cleared hours
Randall Cunningham replaced Aikman and bruised his throwing hand.
Although the team lists him as questionable, he expects to be
ready to start against the Cardinals if needed.
Against the Eagles, Dallas also lost receiver Joey Galloway to
a season-ending knee injury. He was acquired in February to be
the sparkplug of a new timing-passed offense that's similar to
what Aikman ran when he led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles
in the 1990s.
If Aikman takes Sunday off, he'll have an extra day to prepare
for Dallas' next game: Monday night in Washington against the
defending division champions and their new cornerback, former
Cowboy Deion Sanders.
©2000, Associated Press; KRT; Abilene Reporter-News / Texnews
/ E.W. Scripps Publications
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