Veteran defensive end Jared Allen decided to retire from the NFL at the age of 33. That will cause many to wonder (and some to hope) that Allen walked away due to concerns about head injuries.
During a Friday appearance on PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, I asked Allen how much of a factor concerns about concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy were in his decision-making process.
“None,” Allen said. “I mean I’ve been blessed . . . maybe I’ve had one or two concussions my entire life. I’ve been blessed. I rocked that old school Riddell helmet for a long time. I think I knew that thing’s limitations but that wasn’t a factor for me. I mean overall health is always a factor just from the body breaking down but more importantly too it’s when you get older and you don’t have time to put six hours in the gym anymore.
“Football is a game where you get out of it what you put into it. You’ve got to be able to train your body and hone everything you got throughout the offseason to have a successful season. Like I said, it’s that coagulation of when getting up and getting in the gym isn’t the first thing on your mind anymore then that’s when I think you put yourself at a greater risk for injury because you’re not gonna be at your best when you get out there. So I think that for me overall health and just the ‘want to’ to train at the level I have before and it was time to walk away.”
I couldn’t let Allen walk away from the interview without asking whether he remembers a story he told on the old web-only PFT Live in 2011 about facing former Vikings teammate Ray Edwards, who had signed with the Falcons.
“When I told him if he hit my long snapper I was gonna flick him in his junk,” Allen said, without hesitation.
I reminded him that the actual quote was that he would hit Edwards “square in the wiener.”
“Yeah, right in the weiner,” Allen said. “I didn’t know if I could say ‘wiener’ on the radio.”