It’s easy to forget that professional athletes are, in fact, people and that their injury history means more to them than simply “out four to six weeks”. For players – particularly football players – with a history of traumatic head injuries, the decision to step away from the game could be a matter of life.
This was the message that Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson gave to running back Jahvid Best during his appearance on NFL Total Access on Tuesday.
Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News passed along this quote from Burleson:
Burleson said he told Best: “You’ve got so much more life to live, and even though I would love to have you on the field, I don’t want it to risk anything that has to do with your brain or possibly your post career.”
Best has been reportedly working on an NFL comeback, but the decision can’t be an easy one. Does he give up the game he loves (and a good paycheck), or does he potentially subject his head to further abuse?