NFL AM: More Evidence That Football Leads To Brain Injuries In The NFL


It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that reportedly smashing your head into other people’s heads or the ground isn’t the best thing for your health.

The growing concerns of long-term effects from playing professional football came to a crescendo on Friday when a CNN report revealed that 87 out of 91 former players who had their brains tested after death came back positive for CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).

CTE is a brain disease that’s linked with brain trauma and concussions, according to researchers.

Before there becomes a nationwide outcry to outlaw football, this doesn’t mean that 96 percent of NFL players will get CTE.  It means that 96 percent of former players who had concerns about the disease ended up having it.

The NFL has taken measures to protect against head injuries, as much as they can, and many believe that it’s just posturing against potential lawsuits.

Whatever the motivation is, at least the league has taken precautions to try to make it a safer game.

As big as this story can get, one thing is for certain.  It will not affect the popularity of the game, at least in the short term.

People love their professional football.  So much so that the No. 1 rated television show of last week in 29 of the 30 different markets was an NFL game.  The one market that wasn’t was Cleveland, where the Ohio State-Virginia Tech game led the way with the Browns-Jets finishing a close second.

It’s clear that the NFL is a popularity locomotive that is steamrolling downhill, obliterating anything in its way.  That’s why Roger Goodell has been allowed to create his own justice while pandering to certain owners every step of the way and although there are headlines and people complain, nobody even thinks about changing the television dial when the NFL is on.

As for this particular study, there are some serious facts missing.  The first is that there’s no baseline study.  We will likely never have one unless every former NFL player and their families willingly submit to an autopsy upon death.

As interesting as this study is, we still have no idea what actual percentage of players will contract CTE due to the head trauma from playing football.

Again, we know that bashing your head into hard objects isn’t all that smart or completely safe.  With that said, if NFL players had to sign a waiver of liability to play football nearly every single one would.

Week 2 Injury Report

As the final injury reports for the week were released, we’re going to first look at some key players who will miss this week’s games.  Texans RB Arian Foster will miss the teams matchup against the Panthers, while Patriots C Ryan Wendell will be out against the Bills.  Browns QB Josh McCown is out against the Titans, clearing the way for Johnny Manziel’s third start.  Falcons WR Devin Hester and LB Brooks Reed will miss their game against the Giants, while LB John Beason and WR Victor Cruz will be out for New York.  Cardinals RB Andre Ellington and OG Mike Iupati will miss their game against the Bears, while LB Jon Bostic will sit out for Chicago.  A pair of safeties will miss the Bucs-Saints game, as Major Wright will be sitting out for Tampa and Jairus Byrd for New Orleans.  LB Dannell Ellerbe will also miss the game for the Saints.  RB Reggie Bush won’t make the trip to Pittsburgh for the 49ers.  DT Sen’Derrick Marks, CB Dwayne Gratz and RB Toby Gerhart will all sit out for Jacksonville as they host Miami. Finally, Packers OT Brian Bulaga will miss Sunday’s prime time matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.

Game Time Decisions:

Bills RB LeSean McCoy

Texans OT Duane Brown

Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Titans TE Delanie Walker

Browns WR Dwayne Bowe

Lions DT Haoli Ngata

Buccaneers WR Mike Evans

Saints RB C.J. Spiller

49ers RB Bruce Ellington

Steelers CB Cortez Allen

Rams RB Todd Gurley

Rams RB Tre Mason

Redskins DT Terrance Knighton

Dolphins DE Cameron Wake

Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel

Raiders CB Charles Woodson

Seahawks LB Bruce Irvin

Packers S Morgan Burnett


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.