Former Steelers C Jeff Hartings says he faked his way through concussion tests

Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

Hartings admitted on Sirius XM NFL Radio he and other players saw concussion tests as a joke in 2005, before he retired from the league. Now that he's coaching, he's turned around on the subject.

In his playing days, center Jeff Hartings had the old-school toughness of Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson, the Hall of Fame centers that preceded him in Pittsburgh.

He admitted Wednesday at the "Heads Up Symposium" in Canton, Ohio, to Sirius XM NFL Radio he may not have been very honest in his time with the Steelers.

Specifically, concussion tests "were a joke," and he and other players "faked our way through them."

We were talking about this impact concussion test. I remember it came out in '05 or '06, right when I was retiring basically and it was kind of a joke. Nobody really took it seriously. We just kind of complained about having to do it - faked our way through it.

Hartings retired after the Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, concluding the 2005 season. He is in attendance of the symposium because he coaches now, and admitted he had multiple players last year who suffered concussions. He takes the issue much more seriously now.

The other thing that I learned this week and through that experience is you have to take concussions seriously. It's a part of the game. I don't want to make a comparison to a sprained ankle but when a player sprains his ankle you sit him out. When he injures his brain, you need to sit him out and you've got to take that even more seriously and make sure when they come back they're fully ready to come back.

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