Doctors Say Former Badger’s Decision To Retire Early From NFL Makes Sense

Head UW Athletics Physician Points To What's Known About Long-Term Health Effects Of Football

Phil Roeder (CC-BY)

Doctors in Wisconsin support the decision by Chris Borland — a star NFL rookie and former Wisconsin Badger — to retire early from professional football.

Chris Borland seemed to have a long and successful career ahead of him as an NFL linebacker. The former college All-American was the San Francisco 49ers’ leading tackler last season.

When he made the surprising announcement that he would retire from football on Monday, he said he was concerned about the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma.

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Greg Landry, the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department’s lead physician, said Borland’s decision may give pause to other young football players.

“We know that we have former professional football players with dementia and rather severe brain disease. And what’s scary is we don’t know exactly why. And I think we may see other players making that same decision,” said Landry.

Landry said safety rules need to be improved in order for football to stay popular with players and fans in the years to come.