Two seasons ago, the San Francisco 49ers debuted Levi’s Stadium with a Sunday Night Football contest against the Chicago Bears. The Bears won the game 28-20, and wide receiver Brandon Marshall had a huge game. He scored three touchdowns, having his way in the red zone with rookie Jimmie Ward, and was the difference-maker.
Marshall was the Jets player made available to 49ers media via conference call on Wednesday (audio). One of the first questions he got was about his performance in that game, and what he remembered from it. Turns out Marshall does not actually remember the game.
“Well, I don’t really remember much about that game because I worked really hard to get back from a high ankle. Well, I don’t wanna go there. Well, I’ll say it. I took a couple pain pills that masked the pain. I really wasn’t supposed to play. I came back from a high ankle within 10 days. I was supposed to be out four to six weeks. I don’t remember much from that game. I just remember catching those balls. And that was pretty much it.”
Painkillers have been a big issue across the NFL, with a lawsuit over the use of Toradol. I don’t know what pain pills Marshall took for the game, but clearly it was something powerful.
Chris Biderman later asked Marshall about his thoughts on medical marijuana, and if he had an opinion on it.
“You know what, I don’t. I do not have a stance on that. That is something I actually want to research more this offseason when I have time. I’m not a guy that knows about the benefits of what it can do for pain and other things. But I would like to hear others’ opinions and really research the effects that it can have on us, the positives and negatives.”
Medical marijuana (and overall marijuana legalization) has been a hot topic, and is becoming legal in more states with each passing year. The NFL is a private business however, and can institute rules preventing use of marijuana. Those rules are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future, even as common sense dictates the league should move away from the powerful pain killers they use.
A year ago, 49ers CEO Jed York offered some potential support for marijuana. In a public forum, he talked about the idea of whether you’d want someone smoking a joint after a game, or drinking a bunch of beer. The host mentioned Percocet and Vicodine as well, and while York tried to move past it, the point still stands.
There will be more and more studies supporting this, but given the older folks running the NFL, I doubt we see a change in policy anytime soon. But hey, in the meantime the NFL can have players getting hooked on powerful pain killers.