Big Ben admits concerns over CTE will be a factor in whether he pulls on a Steelers helmet beyond this season.
Ben Roethlisberger told the Tribune-Review Friday that he is alarmed by the recent study that found 99% of ex-NFL players who donated their brains for research were found to have the crippling brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
“I want to play catch with my kids,” Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh newspaper as he met the local media at the start of his 14th training camp about the sobering report. “I want to know my kids’ names. As much as I want my kids to remember what I did and watch me play the game, I also want to remember them when I’m 70 years old.”
Roethlisberger – who has suffered multiple concussions during his career, most recently in 2015 – first hinted about walking away from the NFL just days after the Steelers were bounced from the AFC playoffs by the eventual Super Bowl champion Patriots in January.
Ravens OL John Urschel, 26, abruptly retires after CTE study
The five-time Pro Bowler with two Super Bowl titles on his resume ultimately decided to return (he says he’s “now 110 percent committed to football”) for another season with Pittsburgh, but it sure sounds like he’s got pressure at home to hang it up after this season.
“There’s a lot of scary things (in the recent study),” the 35-year-old QB said, “and I think my wife would be OK if I hung it up, too.”
Roethlisberger self-reported concussion symptoms to team doctors during a 2015 game against the Seahawks and was placed in the league’s concussion protocol as a result.
He later told The MMQB.com’s Peter King that he was “proud” of his decision to self report.
99% of ex-NFL players who donated brain for study suffered CTE
“You can replace a lot of body parts,” Roethlisberger said at the time, “you can’t replace a brain.”
Roethlisberger’s honest talk comes just three days after new findings from a study conducted by two leading medical institutions devoted to CTE research found that of the 111 NFL players’ brains that were donated for study following their deaths, 110 were found to have CTE. The disease can only be diagnosed post-mortem.
Just two days after findings from the joint study from the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine were published, Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel abruptly announced his retirement.
A team source told ESPN that the CTE findings played a key role in Urschel’s decision to walk away from the NFL at 26.
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