Thousands of former NFL players, who endured concussion-type injuries during their careers, are suffering as they grow older. It is a grim reality few like to talk about.
While driving after Sunday’s game, Arizona Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson pulled over for about 30 minutes because he knew something was not right.
He had just played 73 snaps and made 11 tackles in Arizona’s 24-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, but he could not recall much, if any, of it.
“I don’t really remember the game,” Jefferson said. “I just remember when I started driving – I just stopped for 30 minutes. I was like, ‘What just happened?’ I don’t remember what happened. It was kind of scary.”
Jefferson was diagnosed with a concussion the next morning. He said it happened on a kick-off against Philadelphia, but he said he could not be sure.
When watching film from the Philadelphia game, he described himself as “being on auto pilot”.
Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles hopes he will have Jefferson for today’s showdown against the Dallas Cowboys, but he said that “concussions are a funny thing”.
Recent reports show an increasing number of retired NFL players, who have suffered concussions, developed memory and cognitive issues such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Several have committed suicide. There is nothing funny about that.
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