Vikings' Boone on concussions: 'I know what's going to happen to me someday'
MINNEAPOLIS -- As Vikings guard Alex Boone returns from what he believes is the first concussion of his football career, he does so with a promise made to his wife and oldest child.
MINNEAPOLIS - As Vikings guard Alex Boone returns from what he believes is the first concussion of his football career, he does so with a promise made to his wife and oldest child.
For the first time "since I could walk," Boone said, he will wear a different helmet this week, ditching a preferred model that is so old it's no longer manufactured.
"It's probably the oldest (model) in the NFL," Boone said. "But I've always worn it and always loved it. And so now I'm going to have to upgrade to this new fancy thing that I'm not excited about."
But even with a new helmet better designed to withstand the constant collisions an offensive lineman faces, Boone knows there's no way to prevent the possibility of another concussion.
And he knows what that could mean to his future.
"This is a brutal game," Boone said. "I'm at a position where you're getting hit constantly in the head. It's one of those things where I know what's going to happen to me someday. I signed up for this a long time ago, and I love this game more than anything. I know what's going to happen, but at the end of the day, if I can try to help myself be smarter and be better, then I will."
That's why, Boone said, he didn't fight with doctors for playing time when they didn't clear him from the concussion, even though he said he felt fine.
After sitting out the Vikings' 22-16 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, Boon returned to practice Wednesday.
To clear the NFL's protocol, he had to pass a computer test called ImPACT, a software that compares a person's results before and after a concussion.
"And the testing was just obnoxious," Boone said. "I mean, (geez). Whoever made that testing is a real (jerk). The ImPACT test, you're sitting in front of a computer for 30 minutes answering questions. ...
"It's annoying, but I understand it. It's a process. This is a brutal game. It is what it is. Sometimes you get hit in the head and things go wrong. I have kids and the last thing I want to do is have them take care of me (when I'm) 35. It's hard because I want to play and I want to do everything, but I want to be a dad at the same time."
As Boone preps for his first game in new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur's system, he praised the new game plan which involves short passes and screens, both of which can take the pressure of a Vikings offensive line that has underperformed.
"It takes a little bit of a burden off the O-line because you start throwing screens and then guys start thinking as they're pass rushing that even if they do beat you, 'Is this a screen?'" Boone said. "You see sometimes on film, guys will stop and turn around and start running. It's really a pass play, but they think it's a screen. When you start throwing things like that in, they never know what's going on. So it's a good mix to throw in there, and it kind of messes with the defense a little bit."