When Cory Schlesinger was a fullback for the Lions, he was celebrated for having so many head-first hits that the team’s equipment staff regularly had to replace his dented facemasks. Now that head injuries are the biggest concern facing the game of football, those dented facemasks don’t seem like something to celebrate.
The 41-year-old Schlesinger now works as a high school teacher and says he sometimes has minor memory problems that he worries will get more severe.
“There are some residual [effects],” Schlesinger told Alex Marvez and Zig Fracassi on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I have to remember things a lot more; I have to think about things more. I would say there’s a little bit of an effect in there.”
But Schlesinger is not one of the thousands of former players suing the league, and he said he wouldn’t change his decision to play football.
“Football was good to me in the aspect that I played 12 years,” Schlesinger said. “It was a good job for that time. . . . Would I [still] play the game? Absolutely. I still would have probably done it the exact same way.”
In that, Schlesinger is like a lot of former players. Even many of the players who suffer serious health consequences from playing football say they’d do it again.