Robert Roll

ROBERT ROLL, 31, running back with Constantine HS (MI), playing in an alumni game on 7/3/15 sustained a helmet-to-helmet hit, was knocked unconscious, and suffered a shattered seventh cervical vertebra (his spinal cord is intact).  Roll was hospitalized at Bronson Methodist Hospital, where he underwent surgery the next day.  He’s likely to be transferred to a Grand Rapids rehabilitation center, where doctors say he’ll likely spend months working to regain use of his limbs.  Roll was hit by a White Pigeon player who is several years younger than Roll and owns his own gym.  Kevin Roll, the older brother of Robert Roll, said that his brother signed a waiver and there is no lawsuit pending.  “It’s one thing for young kids to play football,” he said. “But when you’ve done nothing like that for a long time, and then you get out there and start smashing people, it’s not going to turn out good.”  Though the alumni game has been a popular community fundraiser, there is considerable discussion about whether to continue the game.–“After devastating injury, alumni football games reconsidered”, 7/6/15, Julie Mack.


David Pollack

DAVID POLLACK, 30, linebacker with Cincinnati, 2005-07, suffered a career-ending neck injury in a collision with running back Reuben Droughns of Cleveland in 2006.  Immobile as he lay on the field, he suffered a fractured sixth cervical vertebra and later underwent spinal fusion surgery, having to wear a halo brace for 3 months.  Pollack missed the entire 2007 season while rehabbing and holding out hope that he could return, but retired in 2008.  The New Brunswick, NJ, native said his last play was a freak hit and that he’d been hit harder than that before.  Pollack now works with ESPN.–“No. 10 Bengals draft bust of all-time: David Pollack”, 4/19/15, Josh Kirkendall.

Colin Sherden

COLIN SHERDEN, senior quarterback with Byron HS (MN), took a hard hit to the top of his head bending over to pick up a low snap in a 9/13/13 game and began to stumble after the play was over.  Athletic trainers did a concussion test, realized his heart rate had slowed significantly, and called an ambulance.  He suffered a fractured C3 vertebra, a ruptured disc and a torn spinal ligament.  He underwent successful surgery to remove the ruptured disc, but doctors told him he would never play contact sports again.  Sherden has a metal plate and 4 screws securing his vertebrae.  Determined to prove the doctors wrong, he attacked his rehab and began weightlifting, making it back to play not only football but hockey in his senior year.—Boys Hockey: “Dodge County’s Sherden back after severe injuries”, 12/26/14, Jason Feldman.