Niners Linebacker Chris Borland Retires Over Brain Injury Concerns
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland retired at the age of 24 due to concerns about the longterm effects of repetitive head trauma.
The surprising move leaves the Niners with no depth at inside linebacker. Just last week Patrick Willis retired at the age of 30.
Borland says he first started to worry about brain injuries last summer during training camp. He suffered what he believed was a concussion, but played through it because he was a third-round pick trying to make the team.
The issue “gathered steam” over the course of his stellar rookie season in which he recorded 107 tackles, two interceptions, and one sack. Now, after consulting with concussion and brain injury experts, as well as former players, friends, and members of his family, Borland has arrived at what he called a pretty “simple” decision.
“I feel largely the same, as sharp as I’ve ever been,” he told to ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “For me, it’s wanting to be proactive. I’m concerned that if you wait till you have symptoms, it’s too late. … I just want to live a long healthy life, and I don’t want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise.”
Borland’s decision is obviously going to spark a lot of debate around the league. Rams defensive end Chris Long has already gotten that ball rolling:
WOW. I loved Chris Borland’s game but I can’t fault him for calling it quits. His concerns are real. Still it takes a man to do the logical.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) March 17, 2015
What do you think?
Hat Tip – [ESPN]