Saturday, December 11, 2004

where are they now - Tony Hargrove

Tony suffered a concussion recently:

Unlike most teams, the Panthers don't form a wedge on kickoff returns. No one is happier about that than Rams rookie Anthony Hargrove.

Hargrove, a defensive end by trade, twice has suffered concussions this year on opening kickoffs while trying to bust wedges by hurtling his 6-foot-3, 269-pound body into the fray. It happened in the season opener against Arizona and again last Sunday vs. San Francisco.

"They tell you, 'The closer you get, the faster you run,'" Hargrove said. "I just try to hit it and take out everybody on one shot." Taking himself out, though, is not part of the plan.

"When he goes down there and hits them, he'd probably be better leading with something other than the top of his head," Martz said. "He'll figure that out eventually."

Perhaps sooner rather than later; the most recent concussion shook the third-round draft pick from Georgia Tech. "It was way more intense," Hargrove said. "I couldn't think or anything. That's why I knew I had to go sit down."

And yet he returned to the game. "Yeah, but I don't remember playing," he said. "But I saw myself on film. I looked all right."

When Rams players suffer head injuries, they must pass a neurological exam before they're cleared for the next game. It took two tries, but Hargrove passed and will suit up Sunday. He said he doesn't plan to alter his aggressive approach.

"I'm not worried at all; some of that comes with the job, really," he said. "I'm just not going to let it affect the way I play. I'm not going in on Sunday thinking, 'I don't want to hit anybody because I don't want to get another headache."