GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Hard hits are a part of football. They're a fuel for cheering fans, instant replays and highlight reels, but they take a toll on anyone who's played the game.
Player safety and concussions have become football's number one issue. At the Packers Hall of Fame golf outing this week, former Packers offensive lineman Marco Rivera said he couldn't tell you exactly how many concussions he had when he was playing.
More than 2,000 former NFL players have filed a lawsuit accusing the league of concealing information linking football-related injuries to long term brain damage. Rivera said head injuries weren't often discussed during his playing days.
"I think they're doing a really good job with the awareness, but back in the day there wasn't much being said about concussions and a lot of players didn't know what to look for," he said. "When players said, 'Oh, I just had my bell rung, or I have a headache,' there was a lot of that stuff going on. I was a pulling guard. I probably had a concussion every time I hit somebody, but I just have to take care of myself."
Rivera played with the Packers from 1996 through 2004.
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