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Hillenmeyer Has Concussion, Out For Season

The undisclosed illness that put Bears LB Hunter Hillenmeyer on injured reserve yesterday was apparently caused by a concussion he suffered in the team’s last preseason game:

The team placed the veteran linebacker on injured reserve after he fell ill in Sunday’s game, believing the after effects of a concussion suffered 15 days earlier in the Aug. 28 exhibition. Hillenmeyer didn’t travel to Cleveland for the final exhibition and the team issued a press release saying he had passed all medical tests before returning to practice last week.

The 29-year-old announced in February he is among a dozen NFL players who have pledged to donate their brain and spinal cord tissue to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University. He has talked openly and often about player safety. Hillenmeyer, who is the team’s player representative to the NFLPA and was an academic All-American at Vanderbilt, is known to have suffered one other concussion, in the 2006 season opener at Green Bay.

The article goes on to say that Hillenmeyer’s career could be over; concussions are a serious issue in the NFL and the league is being more proactive in trying to help players who have such injuries:

Quarterbacks Kevin Kolb of the Eagles and Matt Moore of the Panthers were knocked out Sunday with concussions. While medical staff was treating Kolb, Eagles linebacker Stewart Bradley briefly returned to the game after suffering a concussion. He wobbled and did a face plant before leaving the field the first time and inexplicably was allowed back in the action.

“Player health and safety has and always will be a priority,” Angelo said in the release. “Unlike other injuries, there is no defined timetable for a concussion. After consulting with our doctors and Hunter, this was the best way to proceed.”

In addition to Marcus Buggs, signed to the practice squad, this morning’s article states that the Bears are considering two other possible replacements:

The Bears have discussed re-signing Kevin Malast, who spent the last two preseasons with the team and was part of final cuts. He had a workout for the Rams Tuesday. J.D. Folsom is a linebacker on the practice squad but he has been around only a week and doesn’t know the defense.