Ex-NFL player Mike Harris living with congenital brain condition

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Ex-NFL offensive lineman Mike Harris will file retirement papers next month, resigned to the fact that a congenital brain condition prematurely ended his career.

“For a long time, I was really depressed about the whole situation, but I finally am in the light,’’ Harris said, via Chris Tomasson of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “At the end of the day, I want to live to be a grown man. Football gave me a good life. I had been playing since I was 10 years old.

“When it first happened, I didn’t want to talk to the media and any of my teammates, but I’m in a better place now. It took a while, but I know my life comes over football.’’

Following an organized team activity with the Vikings in 2016, Harris felt like he was “having a stroke.” Tests at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester diagnosed a brain arteriovenous malformation, a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain.

The Vikings initially put Harris on the non-football injury list, paying him $500,000 for last season, before waiving him in February. He hoped to resume his career, but doctors recommended he quit.

He played five seasons, the last three with the Vikings, and made 33 career starts and $3.5 million, per Tomasson.

Harris, who soon will undergo a procedure at the Mayo Clinic, is expected to live a normal life with only a 5 percent chance of a recurrence of AVM.

“It’s unfortunate my career has come to an end, but I’m just happy I can walk on my own two feet and I can be there for my family in my future,’’ Harris, 28, said.

10 responses to “Ex-NFL player Mike Harris living with congenital brain condition

  1. Following an organized team activity with the Vikings in 2016, Harris felt like he was “having a stroke.” Tests at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester diagnosed a brain arteriovenous malformation, a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the bra

    Yes it sucks that Mike Harris has a serious brain condition. But a quick google search will tell you this condition is often caused during fetal development or from genetic factors. Thus, it would appear to be a stretch to imply that football caused his problem when past research dictates otherwise. So hopefully the media doesn’t try to run with the false narrative that playing football caused this condition.

  2. We’ve been waiting a long time to find out why Harris couldn’t play last year. He was a big loss in a season the Vikings could have used him. God bless him and I hope he doesn’t have any more problems.

  3. He had an above average year as a starter about 4 years ago. Then he disappeared with zero explaination until now. Not surprised the Vikings and NFL helped him keep this a secret.

  4. Let’s not turn this into a petty sniping thread boys….

    Good to hear you’ll be all right Mike. Good luck with your life moving forward. Wish we still had you on the team

  5. I hope the surgery goes well and Mike has a wonderful life. He will be missed. Nice guy and a good player.

  6. Someone, anyone explain to me how this post can get a thumbs down, seriously I would appreciate some insight. SMDH:

    cdace13 says:
    September 27, 2017 at 1:05 am
    Enjoy a long and healthy post-playing career Mr. Harris.

    24 1 Rate This

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