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Top NFL Rookie Retiring Over Head Trauma Concerns

Health & Fitness

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Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images(BERKELEY, Calif.) — One of the NFL’s top rookies last season announced on Monday he plans to retire because of concerns over the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland told ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Monday he notified the team of his decision on Friday.

The 24-year-old told ESPN he 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.”

Borland now becomes the most prominent NFL player to leave the game in his prime over concerns about brain injuries.


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