Brian Westbrook, a running back who played eight seasons for the Eagles and one for the 49ers before retiring two years ago, says he is experiencing memory loss that he believes was caused by concussions suffered on the field.
The 33-year-old Westbrook told the Associated Press he can’t remember names, recall facts or retain new information and that he worries his symptoms are only going to get worse.
“Hopefully, they won’t continue to progress,” he said.
Westbrook was knocked unconscious on the field in a game against the Redskins in 2009, missed only two games, then suffered another concussion in his first game back. He now says he shouldn’t have been cleared to play so quickly.
“I thought I took enough time off to rest and recuperate. I thought I was healed completely,” Westbrook said. “But I got hit, I got my bell rung. I was out for another few weeks with another concussion.”
It’s impossible to link one specific hit to memory loss years later. But anyone who watched that Eagles-Redskins game in 2009 remembers how bad Westbrook’s initial concussion looked. And it’s not surprising that Westbrook now says that not was he not fully recovered when he returned to the field three weeks later, but he may never completely recover.