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49ers Rookie Chris Borland Retires Due to Brain Injury Concerns

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Updated on May 23, 2019.

In 2015, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland announced that after a strong rookie season, he was retiring from the NFL. In his statement, he revealed that he chose to walk away from a potentially lucrative football career due to concerns about the brain injury risks associated with professional football.

“I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” Borland said on an interview with ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”

Borland’s announcement came at a time when the NFL had been under tremendous scrutiny for its concussion policies. In 2016, a study found that roughly 40% of players will develop serious brain injuries down the road. In recent years, there have been several high-profile players who have been struggled with brain injuries after their careers ended, including Dave Deurson, Junior Seau, and Jim McMahon.

NFL Brain Trauma

Some of players suffering from brain injuries struggled with depression and suicide as well. Junior Seau was the most well-known former player to have suffered from the emotional struggles brought about by the brain trauma after a career in football. Seau tragically committed suicide in 2012, and his brain was studied by neurologists from the National Institute of Health. The researchers found brain trauma consistent with that of many other NFL players who suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

In addition, the NFL settled a brain injury lawsuit with former players that will provide over $700 million for medical treatment. The lawsuit named 4,500 former football players, and claimed that the dementia, depression, and Alzheimer’s they are suffering from was caused by blows to the head that occurred while playing football.

While NFL players are at an elevated risk for suffering concussions and other head trauma, these injuries can happen to anyone at any time. Brain injury victims often face life-altering consequences and a long road to recovery.

Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury, commonly referred to as TBI, is caused by physical forces that cause bodily harm, much like injures to limbs or other internal organs. One moment an individual is living his everyday life, then an accident occurs that harms the brain and life will never ever be the same. The abrupt changes and health issues that can occur as a result of a TBI are a lifelong struggle. Since our brain defines who we are, the repercussions of a brain injury can affect all aspects of our lives, including personality traits that we value as individuals. A TBI is not like a broken limb or punctured lung. Typically, these injuries heal and the organs regain their previous function, but with traumatic brain injuries, it is never certain if the brain will ever be the same.

If you’ve suffered a brain injury caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. The Tenge Law Firm, LLC, has been fighting for the rights of brain injury victims in the Denver area for more than 30 years, and we can help you through this difficult time in your life.

Please call (303) 665-2929 today to schedule your no-cost consultation. We serve clients in Denver, Boulder, and Ft. Collins, Colorado.

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