Researchers at Monash University in Melbourne conducted a study between 2017 and 2019. The study, published in the journal Biomarker Research, carried out baseline blood tests on between 100 and 200 Melbourne University Blacks players in the preseason each year. They then followed up with more blood tests and MRI scans on 28 players who had suffered concussions. Blood samples were then collected at two, six and thirteen day intervals. The researchers found a biomarker protein called Neurofilament light (NfL). Elevated levels of NfL is an indicator for damaged brain cells.
After the Farmer story broke, former Hawk premiership player and 1987 Brownlow Medalist John Platten spoke on SEN's breakfast show. He said the revelation about Farmer was "pretty scary". Platten said he suffered at least 40 concussions during his 18-year career which began in the SANFL. One of those concussions was suffered during the brutal 1989 Grand Final against Geelong. He was so badly concussed in that game, he remembers very little about it and, to this day, cannot remember receiving his premiership medal.
An undermanned and battered Collingwood held tough over the West Coast Eagles by eight points at the MCG in a thrilling Round 10 encounter. The Eagles had not beaten Collingwood on this ground since 1995 and were looking to turn the tables and set up their year by stealing a game that many thought they could not win. Collingwood players - down one man by quarter time and another by half time - looked out on their feet at times, and at one point trailed by nearly three goals. To their credit, the Pies stood tall when it counted and recorded the win in a high scoring game.