Expose the NFL’s use of painkillers

Read notes from nearly any beat writer in the dog days of summer and you will catch a tidbit about a cortisone shot entering some professional baseball player.

Whether it’s a nagging wrist or a troublesome back, that information is available — and disseminated.

Not so much with professional football players, despite the higher occurrence of more serious injuries.

The Tank has quietly speculated about the prevalence of painkillers aiding athletes ability to play on Sundays.

In an otherwise non-revealing article on Bryant McKinnie’s nightlife, Dan Le Betard of the Miami Herald opened a window on this issue.

McKinnie was talking about the injury that kept him out of last week’s Pro Bowl:

“[McKinnie] looked down at his size 18s.

‘When these hurt, I’m in trouble,’  said the Vikings left tackle. ‘And they hurt. I was fine for a few days, but just because of the Toradol. Then it wore off.’

Toradol?

‘Anything that ails you, it takes the pain away,’ he said. ‘Some guys take a shot every week, shot in the butt, burns for 10 seconds. I usually don’t do it because you have to sign a release for the side effects, but we were a game away from the Super Bowl.’ ”

So that’s what it is: Toradol. According to Rxlist.com, Toradol is a non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drug for severe acute pain. Rxlist says use should not exceed five days and that side effects include peptic ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding and/or perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal.

According to McKinnie, “Some guys take a shot every week.” Given the possible side effects and the necessary waiver, that news is alarming.

There was much ado earlier this year about the NFL’s absentee approach to  concussion treatment. The use of Toradol and other painkillers should also be exposed and reviewed.

What do you think injured Cots defensive end Dwight Freeney is going to put in his body prior to Sunday’s Super Bowl?

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