ESPN The Magazine's Peter Keating reports that a group of researchers at the Brain Injury Research Institute have discovered that Chris Henry was already suffering from the effects of brain damage due to football hits before his death last year.
Chris Henry, the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver who died in a traffic accident last year, had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) -- a form of degenerative brain damage caused by multiple hits to the head -- at the time of his death, according to scientists at the Brain Injury Research Institute, a research center affiliated with West Virginia University.
"We would have been very happy if the results had been negative, but multiple areas of Chris Henry's brain showed CTE," said Julian Bailes, Director of BIRI and chairman of neurosurgery at West Virginia. Bailes and his colleagues plan to present results of their forensic examination at a news conference Monday afternoon.
The topic of NFL player concussions and their long-term effects has been a hot one for years now. The ongoing conclusions drawn by research such as this only continues to reinforce that change is needed.
The NFL has been reluctant to come out in full-support of change, though they recently hosted a seminar dedicated to concussion discussions. The committee at that seminar came out in support of a full-on culture change in the NFL. The league has made some changes in rules and penalties but that's just scratching the surface.