The Pro Football Concussion Report

A Fan's Look at Head Injuries and the Concussion Crisis in Football

In the News

McElroy never played again after Jets concussion

Greg McElroy was sacked 11 times in his only NFL start  (AP)
Greg McElroy was sacked 11 times in his only NFL start (AP)

04.09.14

Two weeks ago, Greg McElroy announced his retirement from football after 3 seasons. Actually though, the last regular season game he ever played in was with the Jets in 2012 when he was sacked 11 times and suffered a concussion that was not revealed until four days later.  

In his only professional start, for the Jets against the San Diego Chargers December 23, 2012, McElroy was sacked 11 times and according to media reports, none of the Jets medical staff or coaches ever noticed anything wrong with his head.  Several days later, McElroy admitted that he had suffered a concussion during the game. He didn’t play his following scheduled start and was cut by the Jets during the 2013 preseason.

Concussion settlement data has been supplied to court

Ray Easterling committed suicide 8 months after suing the NFL  (Isaac Harrell)

03.24.14

 

Ray Easterling would call my partner Larry (Coben) quite frequently . . .  ”I can’t handle it, it’s not going to work.” Try as we may, he committed suicide. ~ Sol Weiss, co-lead counsel NFL concussion litigation

 

Former Atlanta Falcon Safety Ray Easterling was part of the first group of former players to file a concussion lawsuit against the NFL. He committed suicide 8 months after his lawsuit was filed. Easterling’s attorney, Sol Weiss, was one of several speakers at a sports law symposium (43:55 mark ) at Villanova University School of Law on Friday, March 21.

Elliot Pellman – Pro Football Concussion Hall of Fame

Woody Johnson, Elliot Pellman & Bill Parcells, 2000.
Woody Johnson, Elliot Pellman & Bill Parcells - Training Camp, 2000.  (AP)

03.21.14

The  3 year old NFL concussion litigation has helped spread a floodlight over NFL issues on the field and off the field. Former players, medical researchers, NFL executives, equipment manufacturers, lawyers and media all have told the story and become part of the story. Today we create the Pro Football  Concussion Litigation Hall of Fame.  Dedicated to the people, places and things that have made this story so compelling. Our first inductee is rheumatologist Dr. Elliot Pellman, former New York Jets team doctor, head of the NFL’s MTBI committee 1994-2007, and current NFL Medical Advisor.

Game Changers – The Boston University NFL Concussion Story

Dr. Ann McKee with the brain of 45 yr. old former Houston Oiler John Grimsley
Dr. Ann McKee with the brain of 45 yr. old former Houston Oiler John Grimsley    (Vernon Doucette - BU)

03.17.14

I’m from a small town in Wisconsin. NFL headquarters is on Park Avenue. You get photographed and IDed on the way in. You’re taken to this big mahogany boardroom with Vince Lombardi posters everywhere and a bunch of men sitting around a big table. I insisted Chris come. It was intimidating. I was the only woman. There was a lot of testosterone in the room. They were very skeptical. One of them said I was making up the disease. They were polite, but you felt like it was falling on deaf ears.  ~  Dr. Ann McKee, Neuropathologist – Boston Umiversity, on her first presentation to the NFL in 2009

New Alzheimer’s Research Can Impact Former NFL Players

Blood test to predict Alzheimers?

03.10.14

One of the looming questions surrounding the NFL concussion settlement has been about the diagnosis and compensation for Mild Cognitive Impairment. How are the levels of impairment defined and who determines if a player is eligible for treatment or compensation? To confuse the issue even more, there have been recent developments in the live diagnosis of CTE. Related to this, there have been several recent positive steps in predicting oncoming symptoms of mild cognitive impairment and alzheimer’s. Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Pittsburgh have all conducted promising research toward identifying key predictive markers in people with symptoms of cognitive decline. 

Rocky Bleier & Suzanne Somers at Brain Conference

Rocky Bleier and Suzanne Somers speak at Brain Conference
Rocky Bleier and Suzanne Somers in the 70's

03.05.14

The NFL concussion lawsuits continue to push all kinds of technology, education and marketing efforts toward brains, concussions and sports. FINDING ADEQUATE REWARD IN LIFE: THE BRAIN, a medical seminar organized by Internist Eric Braverman, MD and offered as CME credits by the University of Florida will take place in New York City on March 21, 2014. The line-up of speakers includes UPMC neurologist and NFL Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee member Dr. Joseph Maroon, Pittsburgh Steeler great Rocky Bleier, and television star Suzanne Somers.

Did Jack Kerouac have CTE?

Jack Kerouac's Books and Football Conussions
2 of Jack Kerouac's books reference football concussions

02.25.14

“Kerouac had all of the symptoms of C.T.E.” Dr. Robert Cantu,  neurosurgeon and football concussion cause celebre tells writer Ian Scheffler for the New Yorker piece, Football and the Fall of Jack Kerouac. Kerouac, the legendary beat writer suffered notable head trauma several times during his short life including possible repetitive damage due to years of youth and prep football play. The question of Kerouac and cumulative brain damage was first raised by Joyce Glassman Johnson, a former girlfriend, confidant, and later biographer of Jack Kerouac. In the New Yorker piece, Scheffler investigates the issue to see if he can answer Johnson’s question, “did the effects of cumulative damage to the brain over Jack’s lifetime . . . contribute to his deepening alcoholism and depression?”