The discussion around head injuries in the NFL and how they affect players after their playing careers ramped up last week after a study came out from the Journal of the American Medical Association showing 99 percent of the brains donated by former NFL players for research showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
On Monday, Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams was asked about CTE, the degenerative brain disease that many suffer from after repeated blows to the head.
Jets rookie Jamal Adams was asked about CTE at fan forum says "perfect place to die" would be on football field. Fans applaud.Uncomfortable.— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) July 31, 2017
While many fans were excited to hear that response, it doesn’t take away from the fact that CTE is a big concern for the NFL moving forward. Player safety has become a priority over the years as we’ve learned more about the disease and what it does to players after their careers end.
Martellus Bennett, who is one of the more vibrant personalities in the league entering his 10th season, felt opposite of Adams.
I hope All these young cats that are willing to die for the game of football find a higher purpose in life.— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) July 31, 2017
More bluntly, he tweeted:
Look football is great but I ain't dying for this shit. Lol.— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) July 31, 2017
The discussion is one that’s going to continue, with players also retiring earlier because of concerns with CTE.
Last week, Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel decided to retire just before training camp started. His decision came two days after the JAMA study, and a team source told ESPN that his decision was linked to the results.
As more research is conducted and studies are published, the discussion will continue and career choices will be made. Right now, we’re watching how seriously some are — and in other cases are not — taking the threat of head trauma.