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Ex-special teamer says he suffered 20-plus concussions in NFL

We previously discussed the sad final years of NFL Hall of Famer Mike Webster's life in this blog. After his days as one of the greatest centers ever to play pro football, Webster suffered the devastating symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

Of course, everyone who has ever played football at a high level may sustain the repeated concussions and other shots to the head that lead to symptoms that last years after they retire. This is true whether they had a long career like Webster, or if they were role players.

For example, former NFL special teams player Sean Morey says that he is living with the consequences of sustaining more than two dozen concussions in his 10-year career. Though he was on the field for a relatively low number of plays each Sunday, his job was to run down the field as fast as he could and hit someone as hard as he could. So he was at risk of a concussion nearly every time he played.

He once suffered four concussions in one game. Another time, he lost consciousness. When he woke up, he recalled, he could only walk sideways. Another time, he became so confused that he walked to the other team's sideline.

Morey retired after the 2009 season. Today, he suffers from chronic migraine headaches, memory problems, trouble controlling his temper, and shortened attention span. He takes several medications to help with depression, insomnia and the pain. He and his family make do as best they can.

Since his retirement, Morey has worked to help bring attention to the issue of brain injury among his fellow players and veterans. He helped found the NFL Players Association's committee on TBIs, and works as an independent advocate for player health.

NPR.org, "Sidelined By Brain Injury, Ex-NFL Player Copes With 'Desperation'," Melissa Block, Jan. 31, 2014

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