Terrell Davis has read the studies about the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and he’s heard the stories. They scare him.
“I can’t lie; we’re all scared,” Davis said, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post. “We’re concerned because we don’t know what the future holds. When I’m at home and I do something, if I forget something I have to stop to think, ‘Is this because I’m getting older or I’m just not using my brain, or is this an effect of playing football?’ I don’t know that.”
Davis enters the Hall of Fame on Saturday not knowing exactly what his future holds. Although he played only seven seasons, he still touched the ball 1,824 times.
A recent study by Boston University revealed 110 of 111 brains examined from the bodies of deceased NFL players had CTE.
“Yeah, I’m scared, so I try to stay as active as possible, keep my mind as sharp as possible,” Davis said. “But I also know the game has gone through great lengths to change, from Pop Warner to college.”
In Super Bowl XXXII, in which Davis won MVP, he played with a migraine. He said at one point, he told coach Mike Shanahan he couldn’t see. The Broncos sent Davis back in as a decoy.
“I think about that moment a lot because if they had the rules in place then [that they have now], I don’t go back into that game,” Davis said. “And that changes a lot. Am I here, at this podium? Thank God it didn’t happen like that.”