John Urschel, 26, quits game after autopsies show traumatic brain injuries in 110 of 111 former players
A popular NFL player announced his retirement Thursday, two-days after a health study showed widespread traumatic injury in the brains of former players.
“This morning John Urschel informed me of his decision to retire from football Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said in a statement on the team's website.
Urschel, 26, was pursuing his doctorate’s degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology but struggled at times with balancing the game with his studies because of conflicting schedules between professional football and school.
"When school began last September I was studying the Ravens playbook instead of partial differential equations," Urschel wrote last May on The Players' Tribune, a media platform where articles are written by professional athletes.
The 6’,3” 300-pound offensive lineman's decision to walk away from the game comes as the NFL scrambles to deal with the fallout of the health study that revealed 99 percent of players' brains donated to science after their deaths, were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE. The condition was found in 110 of 111 brains studied of athletes who played football at some point in their lives. Symptoms of CTE include memory loss, aggression and suicidal thoughts.
"Players of American football may be at increased risk of long-term neurological conditions, particularly CTE," according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.