One of the biggest issues the NFL is currently facing pertains to concussions — specifically the effect they have on a player’s mental health. A number of retired players have come out and said they’ve suffered symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and it’s likely that more will in the future, unless the league steps in and attempts to make the game more safe for its participants.
A former NFL player recently shared some harrowing details about his career, and what he had to say is downright scary. Gary Plummer, who played linebacker for both the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers, stated that he suffered from a high number of concussions. He estimated that if he’s including Grade 1 concussions, then he suffered about 2,500 concussions during his career.
“If you’re not getting at least 10 of those a game, as a middle linebacker in the NFL, that means you didn’t play that day,” Plummer said, during an appearance on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “I played 250 games. So [with] at least 10 a game, that’s 2,500 concussions.”
Plummer then went on to say that he has since taken steps to hopefully prevent CTE from occurring. The former NFL’er said that his wife informed him to do so after Junior Seaus’s suicide, so that was when he felt it was time to take precautionary measures to help improve his overall mental health, as well as his quality of life.
“It was not overnight, by any stretch of the imagination,” Plummer said. “It was a long, slow process. But it wasn’t a long, slow, arduous process. It’s not like it was difficult to go to yoga. It’s not like it was difficult to go outside and listen to classical music while gardening.
“But I felt myself not only getting better at the time I was doing those things, but it then became the cumulative effect of, ‘Hey, there’ve been a few days where I didn’t have a headache.’ Or, ‘There’ve been a few days where I’ve been able to sleep through the night.’ And those were momentous occasions for me. It’s been amazing that I literally feel like a new man.”
It’s extremely scary to hear how many concussions Plummer believes he has suffered, but the good news is that he seems to be feeling better, and has found a way to achieve some balance in his life.