Ask Darrius Heyward-Bey what a concussion can do for your chances at making the Pittsburgh Steelers' final roster.
It can absolutely put you behind the proverbial 8-ball.
Steelers' second year inside linebacker, Vince Williams, was helped off the practice field Tuesday with a potential concussion. Obviously, the team will have to follow protocol in the coming days to ensure that Williams is healthy enough to return to the playing field, but any length of absence for the young linebacker could make waves within the position battle going on among the linebacker corps.
If Williams is unable to play for a period of time, you will see players like Sean Spence, Arthur Moats, Terence Garvin and even rookie Jordan Zumwalt get more playing time and chances to show their potential to the coaching staff.
However, it won't be Williams' absence at inside linebacker that could have the biggest impact, but rather on special teams.
If Williams makes the 2014 roster, he will be asked to be a special teams player and contribute as much in that capacity as he would be as a back up linebacker. If he misses any length of time, players like Howard Jones will get more opportunities to show what they can do.
Injuries happen, and often times to good people, but they can play a role in the final decisions made by coaches when they have to split hairs in selecting their 53 man roster.
Williams has a lot of experience on the field in 2013 as a rookie, and has had a tremendous camp to this point. All will weigh in his favor when coaches look at potential playing time. Hopefully his time off the field is minimal and he is able to continue to push to making the Steelers' team again.