NFL linebacker Joshua Perry, at only 24 years old, has announced his retirement before the start of the 2018-2019 NFL Season. The reason is his most recent diagnosis of a sixth concussion and the concerns it has generated regarding his continued mental health as a consequence.
Perry issued a statement on his Twitter account:
“Football has been one of the biggest blessings in my life, but recent concerns about concussions and the health of my brain have led me to step away from the game. I’ve recently sustained my 6th documented concussion. It wasn’t from a high velocity, big contact play. It was a very pedestrian thing, and that was a huge concern to me. The last thing I want to do is put the health of my brain and my future wellbeing in jeopardy over a game and over a paycheck.”
In 2016, Perry was chosen as a fourth-round draft pick by the Chargers. As a rookie he played 15 games for the Chargers, and once as a starter. Overall, in that year, he had 22 tackles. He was placed on injured reserve in 2017 by the Chargers as a result of a head injury. The Chargers then released him. Indianapolis picked him up and signed into their practice squad in 2017 – he was elevated to the active roster and appeared in two games.
Previous to Perry’s NFL career, he played for Ohio State, collecting 296 tackles and 7 ½ sacks. He played on the team’s national championship’s squad in 2014.
Having signed with the Seattle Seahawks in June of this year, he was just recently participating in the team’s training camp.
In his retirement announcement, Perry stated his intention to remain in central Ohio, and to stay involved with sports through the media via TV, radio, and writing.
The degree of brain damage various among players
According to a recent small study evaluating the results of concussions sustained by football players, the degree of brain damage occurring after these concussions depends on how long players remain with the sport and the position they played. As one neuroscience researcher from Ohio State Wexner Medical Center put it, “Constant banging of heads in the non-speed positions might be just as dangerous as a few higher-speed type collisions that occur at the speed positions.”
The researchers evaluated brain scan data from more than 60 former professional college football players who had zero symptoms of cognitive impairment. The tests were used to evaluate effects on the brain. One test – functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) – recorded brain function while study participants performed specific memory tasks. The other technique – diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) examined the structural integrity of the brain’s white matter. This matter connects various parts of the brain together.
The results of the study indicated that participants who played college football and had three more concussions experienced greater white matter damage than those with only one or zero concussions. Because the study was not a controlled experiment, however, the findings should be subject to scrutiny – especially in the face of other, more developed studies which have conclusively proven the link between playing football and sustaining brain damage.
If a brain injury has left you in debilitating physical and financial condition due to the negligent or reckless behavior of another party, the Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Taylor & Ring can help you pursue justice and compensation. Get the legal help you need today to move forward. Call us at 310.776.6390 or fill out our contact form to arrange a free consultation.
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