Injury - Football Wiretap

Sam Bradford's College QB Coach Encouraged Him To Continue Career

Mar 30, 2015 12:15 PM

Josh Heupel, who was Sam Bradford's quarterbacks coach at Oklahoma, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he reached out to Bradford to encourage him to continue his career.

Bradford had torn his ACL twice in less than a year.

"I just tried to reach out to him and say: 'Hey, I still see this in you as a person and a player. I think the best is yet to come for you. You've got to get yourself healthy and get yourself back on the field and get yourself in the right environment with the right people and the right supporting cast around you, and there's no doubt in my mind you'll achieve the things you're capable of achieving and want to achieve,'" Heupel, who is now the offensive coordinator at Utah State, told the newspaper in a telephone interview.


The Philadelphia Eagles acquired Bradford from the St. Louis Rams in a trade this offseason.

Bradford said in December that he contemplated walking away from the NFL because of the injuries.

"It was really tough that first week after the injury," Bradford said in December. "There was part of me for a couple days that I was done with football. I didn't want to come back, I didn't want to play, I was tired of rehabbing. I was just tired of the process. But when you step back and you are away from the game for a while, then you come back and you're in the building and you're around your teammates, I quickly realized that I wasn't done and that I wanted to come back and that I feel like I've still got a lot to prove."


Tags: Philadelphia Eagles, Injury, Misc Rumor

NFL Doctor Insists CTE Fear Has Been 'Overexaggerated'

Mar 18, 2015 8:43 PM

A neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers and medical consultant for the NFL believes chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a "rare phenomena."

Appearing on NFL Network, Dr. Joseph Maroon -- who advises the NFL on head, neck and spine injury -- said the game "has never been safer" and downplayed the risk of CTE based on current data.

"I think the problem of CTE, although real, is it's being overexaggerated and being extrapolated to youth football and to high school football," Maroon said.

Maroon said he reviewed all known cases of CTE, a progressive degenerative brain disease related to head trauma and found in dozens of retired athletes in football and other sports, from 1954 to August 2013.

"We came up with 63 total cases of CTE [and] in the last two years a few more," he said. "But there have been 30-40 million kids who have played football during that period of time. It's a rare phenomena. We have no idea the incidence. There are ... more injuries to kids falling off bikes, scooters, falling in playgrounds than there are in youth football. I think again, it's never been safer. Can we improve? Yes. We have to do better all the time to make it safer."

Kevin Seifert/ESPN

Tags: Injury, Legal

Chris Borland Retires Due To Brain Injury Concerns

Mar 16, 2015 11:00 PM

Chris Borland has decided to retire due to concerns about the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma.

Borland notified the San Francisco 49ers of his decision on Friday.

Borland made his decision after consulting with family members, concussion researchers, friends and current and former teammates, and studying what is known about the relationship between football and neurodegenerative disease.

"I just honestly want to do what's best for my health," Borland told "Outside the Lines." "From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk."

More than 70 former players have been diagnosed with progressive neurological disease following their deaths, and numerous studies have shown a connection between the repetitive head trauma associated with football, brain damage and issues such as depression and memory loss.

Borland is the most prominent player to retire at the start of his career due to head trauma concerns.

Borland was expected to be a key part of the 49ers defense this season after the retirement last week of All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis. Borland replaced Willis, 30, after six games last season; Willis had sustained a toe injury.

Borland received one vote for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

"I've thought about what I could accomplish in football, but for me personally, when you read about Mike Webster and Dave Duerson and Ray Easterling, you read all these stories and to be the type of player I want to be in football, I think I'd have to take on some risks that as a person I don't want to take on." Borland was referring to former NFL greats who were diagnosed with a devastating brain disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, after their deaths. Duerson and Easterling committed suicide.



Mark Fainaru-Wada, Steve Fainaru/ESPN

Tags: San Francisco 49ers, Injury, Legal, Misc Rumor

Jadeveon Clowney Bit By Swearinger's Pit Bull

Mar 10, 2015 1:54 PM

Jadeveon Clowney had to go to the hospital after being bit by the dog owned by D.J. Swearinger.

Swearinger's pit bull bit Clowney on the arm.

The dog’s vaccinations are up to date and Clowney was not seriously hurt.


Clowney is currently recovering from microfracture knee surgery after an injury-plagued rookie year.

Michael David Smith/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Houston Texans, Injury

Chris Johnson Shot In Drive-By

Mar 8, 2015 6:14 PM

Chris Johnson was shot in a drive-by in Orlando early Sunday morning. 

Johnson is in stable condition. 

Johnson played for the New York Jets last season. 


Tags: New York Jets, Injury

Brian Cushing Has Undergone Three Different Offseason Surgeries

Mar 1, 2015 11:29 AM

Brian Cushing has had three different offseason surgeries.

Cushing has undergone surgery to repair a broken wrist, as well as arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and left ankle.

"It's not uncommon for stuff like that to happen. It's just little things here and there, the residual effects of two major surgeries and injuries, the wear and tear of playing throughout the season," Cushing said. "There were still some things bothering me a little bit. Just went in there and had real good success in both areas and looking forward to a very healthy and productive season."

Cushing started 14 games last season.

Manouk Akopyan/

Tags: Houston Texans, Injury