We are all growing more and more aware of the toll concussions and head trauma associated with playing in the NFL can be. Even how your brain can deteriorate from that trauma even after you retire. But how can you talk someone into retiring who has spent their whole lives working to make it into the NFL and they haven’t accomplished their goals yet?
How can you tell someone to walk away early?
Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson has been on a tour of NFL shows. Yesterday he appeared on NFL AM and talked about why he thinks Reggie Bush should come to Detroit and how he was shocked by the Rams releasing Titus Young. Today he went on NFL Talk Live to talk about the career and future of his friend Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best.
The following comments Nate Burleson made were transcribed by NFL Evolution.
“I spoke to him last season. Jahvid could have easily been one of the best running backs to put on a Lions jersey … He’s that type of player. The reason I’m talking in past tense is because he’s going through a different type of concussion. He didn’t have a ton of them, but the ones that he did have they were really powerful.”
“In conversing with him, he was able to tell me if he wasn’t sure he was going to decide to come back and play the game he loves so much — he’s so young — or if he’s going to decide to chalk it up.”
“And just being a guy that loves him as an individual vs. him, as a player, I just told him, ‘Honestly I’d rather see you healthy at 65 than healthy at 25,’ ” Burleson added.
“I just told him that if it was me I would shut it down. 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.”