Josh Cribbs has no memory of his collision with Dannell Ellerbee, the one that sent his helmet flying and left him motionless on the M & T Bank field last Thursday night. His family, though, can’t shake the image and has urged him to quit the game.
His wife, the Cleveland Browns wide receiver told the Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot, cried hysterically as she watched the game. “Everyone was calling and couldn’t stop crying,” said Cribbs who has had at least three severe hits to the head (including one on the memorable October 2010 day that helped change NFL rules about helmet-to-helmet hits. “My brother, who’s the reason why I’m playing football, even he wants me to stop.”
Cribbs suffered a concussion on the play, but returned to practice Wednesday. “I feel great,” he said. “I’ve had no symptoms and I’m ready to play [Sunday] against the Giants. I’m not scared of taking another hit.”
Cribbs told Cabot that he has watched tape of the hit — once — and compared it to a hit by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ James Harrison in October 2010. That one came on a day marked by one helmet-to-helmet hit after another and helped bring about a rules change.
“I didn’t feel it,” he said. “The James Harrison hit? He hit me hard and I felt that one. This one, I was out cold. But I’m blessed with a kill switch. The doctor said my brain focused on the immediate trauma and shut down everything else. Some guys have brain swelling and don’t recover as fast. I’ve got someone looking out for me.”
Cribbs said that the Browns had to take his helmet to keep him from returning to the game and admits his wife still has her concerns.
“She wants me to be seen by another specialist,” he said. “She wants me to get a CAT scan, especially with what happened to [former Browns running back Jerome Harrison, who had a brain tumor removed]. I still go over to his house every now and then and talk to him. He’s doing pretty bad. He’s in and out of the hospital with seizures. They just don’t want the same thing to happen to me.”