Are Brain Injuries Triggering NFL Players to Retire Early?

Buffalo Bills Linebacker A.J. Tarpley recently announced his early retirement from the NFL after suffering his fourth concussion.  While this announcement may shock some, it seems to be part of a bigger pattern of early player retirements, which may be stemming from fears of developing serious brain injuries like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

As Tarpley explained to the press when announcing his retirement:

The only thing comforting about not knowing this play would be the last of my career, is knowing that I never took a second for granted… After months of introspection, I am retiring from football. I suffered the 3rd and 4th concussions of my career this past season, and I am walking away from the game I love to preserve my future health.

Are Brain Injuries Triggering NFL Players to Retire Early?
Are Brain Injuries Triggering NFL Players to
Retire Early?

NFL Hesitant to Acknowledge Link Between Playing Football and Developing Serious Brain Injuries, CTE

The NFL may have accidentally tipped its hat on acknowledging the link between developing serious brain injuries like CTE and playing professional football.

In fact, during a House Energy and Commerce Committee roundtable meeting held this past March, Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill) reportedly asked NFL Senior Vice President for Health and Safety, Jeff Miller, if he knew of a link between playing in the pros and developing CTE. Miller replied, “certainly” recent research (out of Boston University) had established a link.

NFL coaches and general managers have been quick to dial Millers’ admission back. In fact, New York Jets Owner Woody Johnson recently commented (with regards to brain injuries and football):

I am not in a position [to opine on the link between CTE and football]… I am a layman. [Jeff Miller] is a layman as well.

Despite this backpedaling, however, other research and reports connecting pro football play to the development of CTE has been made public. In fact, the New York Times recently reported discovering that the NFL has allegedly downplayed the results of its own research studies in an effort to minimize the “link” between pro football and brain injuries.

List of Retiring NFL Players Grows

Tarpley is, of course, not the only NFLer to retire early due to health concerns (or other reasons). In fact, several other players (including but not limited to the following) have cited health concerns (including concerns regarding the development of serious brain injuries) as reasons for retiring early:

  • D’Brickashaw Ferguson, New York Jets’ Tackle
  • Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions’ Wide Receiver
  • Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots’ Linebacker
  • Husain Abdullah, Kansas City Chiefs’ Free Safety
  • B.J. Raji, Green Bay Packers’ Nose Tackle
  • Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks’ Running Back
  • Tracy Scroggins, Detroit Lions’ Defensive End

Do you think the NFL is hiding information or downplaying the connection regarding playing pro football and developing serious brain injuries? Sound off on our Facebook & Google+ pages.

Contact a St Louis Personal Injury Lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law

If you or someone you love has suffered a serious brain injury – or any type of catastrophic injury – as a result of another’s negligent or careless actions, call an experienced St Louis personal injury lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law at 573-333-3333 (for our Missouri office) or at 618-888-8888 (for our Illinois office). You can also email us using the contact form on this page.

When you contact our firm, you can get clear answers about your rights and options for recovery. You can also secure exceptional legal representation at no upfront legal cost. Our lawyers are ready to fight for you, help you protect your rights, and help you succeed in your financial recovery.

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