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Justin Fields’ Epilepsy Is Not The Issue You Think It Is. Trust Me, I Should Know.

A lot of people want to make a big deal of the news that Justin Fields is epileptic. I’m here to tell you why it’s not.

Justin Fields by TigerNet.Com is licensed under CC BY SA-2.0

Justin Fields’ Epilepsy Is Not The Issue You Think It Is. Trust Me, I Should Know.


Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

So, before you all start coming for me because I’m making a bold statement let me start by saying this. I am likely more familiar with this particular “issue” than you are. Seeing as how I grew up with an epileptic father it’s a disease that hits very close to home. I experienced situations that most 6 year olds should not have to be confronted with.

When NFL teams were made aware of Justin Fields’ epilepsy during his second pro-day my initial thought was, “So what?”. I only say this because, as he acknowledged, it is something that is completely manageable with the right medication. Especially at his young age. The only thing that took me aback for a moment was the statement that he might likely outgrow it. I only say that because I’ve personally never known someone that has been able to do so. For instance, my dad was diagnosed when he was 10 years old. He’ll turn 71 this year and it’s still a very present factor in his life.

It should be no surprise to teams or to fans that the reason I say that this is not an issue. First of all, “THE” Ohio State knew of it when they made him their starter. Obviously, it gave them no pause to put him under center every week. Second of all, many epileptics can live a very normal life as long as their meds are kept in check. If Fields is one of the lucky few, like my dad, he may even get a small Aura before he feels a seizure coming on. This will allow him to alert those around him that he is feeling out of sorts. It may come as a shock but you likely have come across someone epileptic in your lifetime and never even known it. Most people are surprised to find out that my dad has a neurological disorder after meeting him.

Lastly, there’s a recently directed focus on CTE and head trauma issues which have been front and center for the NFL of late. With all of the top notch medical staff, there will be no stone unturned when it comes to monitoring Fields and his brain activity once he gets to the NFL. The last headline they need is to have someone with a neurological issue deal with a severe head injury. Also, Fields is a quarterback. These days if you even breathe near a quarterback, let alone a potential franchise one, flags are going to fly.

Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About

It’s been 3 long months since Tompa Tom and the Bucs won the Super Bowl. We’ve pondered every little detail relating to next week’s draft. And boy oh boy have we pondered them. To an almost exhausting level. This “news” just feels like another way for pundits to try and explain why Fields draft stock has been so volatile as of late. Especially when you consider the almost meteoric rise of the likes of Zach Wilson and Mac Jones, who seem to have leap frogged Fields in the rankings. It also feels like we are running out of ways to compare and contrast these top 5 QB prospects and they just needed something new to talk about.

Listen, there have been many athletes that have managed epilepsy over their careers. Olympians even. Fields isn’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last. Just do him a favor and keep him away from the flashing lights in whatever stadiums he happens to land in. Or at least tell him to close his eyes during the pre-game ceremonies and introductions. That’s what we always did with my dad on rollercoasters or at concerts or shows.

The good news is that we only have a week left to listen about the 400th version of anyone’s mock draft that they want to drop. I for one can’t wait for those to stop. As far as Justin Fields is concerned I hope that this “issue” won’t further hurt him on draft night. I might even find myself rooting for the former Buckeye to surprise everyone and go as early as possible.

Ew, that last statement just made feel dirty. I need to go shower now and re-consider everything I just said.

An actor by degree, sports lover by day, and a bartender by night. As a native of suburban Detroit it took moving to NYC for Katie to fully realize her love of all things Michigan and Detroit sports. Feel free to engage her in her love of the coolest city and prettiest state in the country and why she will always root for Ohio State to lose every sporting event ever. No, really I am dead serious about that last statement.

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