Padres fans, media members raise important issue after Jurickson Profar collapses on field
Padres fans, media members take issue with injury cart after Jurickson Profar’s collision
After San Diego Padres fan-favorite outfielder Jurickson Profar’s absolutely terrifying collision with shortstop C.J. Abrams on Thursday night, the well-wishes poured in.
Not just from Padres fans, but all over the baseball world.
As the game continued without him, the Padres announced that Profar had been transported to a local hospital for further evaluation, not a surprising update, given that he’d collapsed while trying to walk off the field after the collision. His teammates called for the injury cart, which took what seemed like forever to reach Profar and drive him off the field, strapped to a stretcher with a neck brace on.
The way things played out in the aftermath of the collision meant that in addition to the well-wishes, several media members and fans also questioned why the injury cart took so long. It’s a legitimate point, considering how awful the footage of Abrams and Profar’s collision looks:
According to one fan‘s timekeeping, it took 13 minutes for the medical staff to get Profar on the cart. If his count is correct, that’s absolutely unacceptable. Another noted that the team doctor didn’t arrive on the scene until Profar fell down for the third time. Someone described the wait for medical attention as “excruciating to watch, while two women who said they were an EMT and a registered nurse were appalled by how the staff handled Profar’s head when examining him.
Regardless of the fact that Profar tried to stand up on his own, staff should’ve been on their way out to check on him immediately. Any time there’s a collision on the field, especially one that leaves a player on the ground in visible pain, checking on them is the obvious first step. When he collapsed, it felt like there was absolutely no urgency on the part of the medical staff.
Concussions are on the rise in MLB
In 2018, the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine noted that between 2010-13, collisions were the third-most-common cause of concussions in MLB, accounting for 23.2%, behind getting hit by a pitch (25.9%) and a foul tip or foul ball (25%). However, in 2020, the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that concussions were more common among outfielders than catchers in recent years, and that between 2011-18, in 44.5% of concussions, fielding collisions were the mechanism of injury. Most concerning, their findings showed that overall, concussion numbers have increased in MLB over the last two decades:
"“There were 30 players with concussions from 2001 to 2010, 90 from 2011 to 2018, and 114 from 2001 to 2018. Six players sustained concussions during both time periods. There were 32 concussions from 2001 to 2010 (4 pitchers) and 110 concussions from 2011 to 2018 (6 pitchers).Two players had multiple concussions from 2001 to 2010, whereas 17 players had multiple concussions from 2011 to 2018.”"
None of this information should be new to teams and their medical personnel, so by now, they should be more than capable of reacting quickly to any potential head or spinal injury. That media members and fans are holding them accountable is absolutely valid.
The top priority now is Profar’s health. The second priority should be to make sure that the way this incident was mishandled never happens again.