Russell Allen suffered a career-ending stroke on the field

When the Jaguars released Russell Allen last week, it came as a major surprise: Allen was a starting linebacker and only 27 years old, and looked like an important piece of the team the Jaguars are trying to build.

Now we know why Allen is done with the Jaguars, and why he’ll never play football again.

Allen told Robert Klemko of that he suffered a stroke on the field during Jacksonville’s Week 15 game against Buffalo. At the time, Allen sensed something was wrong, but he didn’t think it was a big deal and actually stayed in the game. But neurological examinations have revealed that Allen has a dead spot in his brain and can’t risk playing a violent sport like football.

“It was strange because it was so routine,” Allen said. “We hit, I got off the block, no big deal. I felt something flash—like they say when you get your bell rung. I didn’t lose consciousness. I walked back to the huddle and finished the drive.”

Allen sounds at peace with his decision to leave the game, but it’s a frightening story nonetheless. NFL players are so tough that they’ll keep playing through anything. Even a stroke.

43 responses to “Russell Allen suffered a career-ending stroke on the field

  1. Major shout out to his tough guy. You hate see a young talented career end so quickly. Best of luck!

  2. I know Russell personally, and he is quality people. Huge loss for the game, but so glad he’s gonna be around to see his kids grow up.

  3. Why has it taken this long for this information to come out? It happened in week 15 of last season and it comes to light now? I find that odd.

  4. Best wishes from this Browns fan . hope he recovers to enjoy his life ! there are bigger things than football .

  5. Good guy, Jaguar fans are going to miss him on their field. Life and family always come first.

    So the next time you have a hangnail, or you get torqued because some moron stole your parking spot, or you can’t get a signal on your iPhone…remember the guy who played football after having a stroke. Then ask if you’re having a good day.

  6. Does a player like this qualify for any type of retirement benefits, since this occurred “in the workplace?”

    Best of luck to Russell Allen. Hopefully this doesn’t become a bigger brain issue for him.

  7. Sounds like he’s going to be okay, for now at least. Hopefully his strokes won’t be debilitating long term.

  8. Maybe I’m the only one here, but does anyone else find this to be extremely shady business by the Jags? The guy gets released due to “failing a physical for undisclosed reasons” after never missing a game as a starting LB for a team trying to re-build their franchise — and now it comes out he’s suffered irreparable brain damage & will never play the game again at 27 years old? Here’s hoping the Jags did right by this guy & gave some sort of an undisclosed financial package to a player that was a rock for the franchise and put his body on the line for almost four consecutive years without missing a beat… I mean the guy had a STROKE and finished a game for your team; in an era of “me-first” players it sounds like this guy did everything he could to make sure he didn’t leave his team high and dry. Best wishes to you, Russell; you sound like you were a heckuva competitor.

    ~A Vikings fan with the utmost respect for you

  9. now THAT is a guy I want on my team…

    Allen sounds like a guy that understands nobody cares about his problems…just packs his lunch and goes to WORK.

  10. Best of luck to Russell Allen and his future endeavors. Scary thought but hopefully he doesn’t experience anything like this for the rest of his life.

  11. First of all, I am glad that it seems that he got through this without any permanent damage.
    His toughness isn’t in question. But a lot of people keep doing what they were doing while in the midst of strokes because they don’t know they are having one. That part isn’t unusual. That’s why the conventional wisdom is telling people to ask the potential stroke victim to do 3 things (raise both of their arms above their head, say a sentence, and smile I think they are)and the results will tell you if they likely are having/had one.

  12. I had a stroke on the golf course last fall and finished the round. I don’t feel as much heroic or courageous as I do stupid. Like Allen, I realized something was wrong and actually thought it was a TIA. However, it was a full blown stroke.

    The difference is, I was 72 at the time it happened and don’t play a contact sport.

    Many times, not even golf.

  13. its tough. to me, football is one of the most important parts of my life. it genuinely brings me joy that I just don’t get elsewhere or from other sports.

    but, it is very hard to overlook these sort of things. a dead spot in his brain? a 27 year old LB? yikes! a stroke and he stays on the field, Jamaal Charles was ready to return after a hit to the head and he couldn’t go back in, but you can have a stroke on the field and its all good at the time? whoa there. they may need to start looking into this to make sure its not a more common occurrence

  14. That’s at least a worker’s compensation claim, and more important, a disability insurance claim. I hope he had supplemental disability insurance.

  15. You writers, of thats what you call yourselves, make me laugh. You folks have never played the game and you always freak out when players stay in the game injured,,,,its part of the game, but you idiots lead the charge to change the game the way you want it to be played not the way its supposed to be played,,,get real,,,know what you write about.

  16. Wow. I wish the kid the best of luck & I hope he finds a career outside football that he loves as much as playing the game. It really is amazing how tough football players are, especially defenders, that they would be able to play through a stroke.

  17. i admit I was very shocked at his release and thought he was a very solid linebacker. He went from back up to starter and played very well in my opinion. He did have a bright future playing for the Jags and in the NFL. Even if it may have been as a back up on another team. Dudes motor was always on Beast Mode and a great locker room guy. Very sad to see guys like him who fight their tails off and play for the love of football the game,
    And like Justin Blackmon and other high priced GREEDY talented players take the game and pay check for granite .
    May God bless Russ and his future with great health. Leagues losing a real football player.

  18. When I heard he was released I was shocked and hoped that he’d come to the Bears. Tragic to hear what happened.

  19. I always thought he was a good contributor for the Jags’ LB corps, and I was glad he stayed with us even when players like Daryl Smith were let go.

    It’s unfortunate just how many injuries this game can cause, and hopefully Allen has a happy life outside of football.

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