Jared Veldheer: CTE study triggered day off to think about future

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While some players may say they’re willing to die on the field (until they realize what that sounded like), other NFL players are taking a more sober approach to their futures.

And Cardinals right tackle Jared Veldheer admitted that last week’s CTE study — in which the degenerative brain disease was found in 110 of the 111 donated brains of former NFL players — gave him pause.

Veldheer told the Arizona Republic that he took a personal day away from the team last week to think about his own future, and that he might have considered retirement.

“There was some stuff going on and I was just trying to process it all,” Veldheer said. “It wasn’t really like, ‘Oh my gosh! This is scary.’ I wasn’t going to, . . . It was more complicated than that. Everyone kind of would like to know more about [CTE] just because that kind of stuff has only been brought up in the last five years or so really and there’s just a lot of stuff they need to do research-wise.

“So a lot of people are kind of in the dark right now and that part may concern some people, but at the same time there’s new helmet companies out and they’re trying to make it so those big helmet-to-helmet collisions aren’t as prevalent.”

The timing of the day off was no coincidence, coming the same day Ravens center John Urschel announced his retirement at age 26. With veteran tackles Branden Albert and Ryan Clady announcing their retirements (for whatever reasons), there’s some degree of contemplation in the air for many players.

Veldheer returned to practice Friday with what he called: “A lot of clarity.”

“It was culmination of things, kind of missing the last half of the season last year [with triceps and finger injuries] and just kind of rehabbing. You start thinking when you have a lot of time on your plate,” Veldheer said. “You start thinking huge-picture life stuff, you know? You normally don’t necessarily think you’re going to die.

“So you’re just trying to figure everything out. Stuff just all kind of happened and compounded and I just kind of needed a second to regroup and reflect.”

As many players have, he’s made the choice to continue. He has two years left on his deal with the Cardinals, and is set to make $6.5 million this year.

20 responses to “Jared Veldheer: CTE study triggered day off to think about future

  1. How is it so many former players can be on TV reporting on the game yet 99% will have brain disease? Many more have successful careers outside the game; some wind up coaching, but 110 out of 111 couldn’t do that.

    It’s a hard game and brains to get knocked about. But that report is as bogus as H’s polls showing her she was winning.

  2. “Veldheer returned to practice Friday with what he called: “A lot of clarity.”’

    6.5 million clarities, to be exact.

  3. I’m assuming they have also looked for CTE in non-football player brains? Maybe it is just standard entropy that they are calling “CTE”? 110 out of 111 sounds really bad unless there is a control.

  4. Then he thought about all the millions he’d loose & how he’d end up flipping burgers or stocking shelves & said to himself….. I’ll just sue the NFL later…. Let’s play ball!!!

  5. It is difficult to find a valid conclusion in the 110 of 111 study. I could have donated my Father’s lungs to a study on lung cancer.
    He smoked 3 packs a day of Lucky Strike non- filter for over 50 years. The only people donating were from families who knew there was a problem. Older people grew up in a much tougher environment. We never had batting helmets bike helmets when riding bikes, played tackle football without helmets on the play grounds and bare knuckle boxing. A valid study would also include others of the same age that did not play NFL football.

  6. “I’m assuming they have also looked for CTE in non-football player brains? Maybe it is just standard entropy that they are calling “CTE”? 110 out of 111 sounds really bad unless there is a control.”

    That’s why the study’s author, Dr. Ann McKee, warned of the inherent bias in the study. These weren’t just random players brains, many were submitted by families that noticed symptoms or had the player himself tell them that he felt symptoms. As a result, many of those brains were more likely to have it. Also, I don’t think there was a true control.

    To your other point, it may be a really bad standard entropy that we never noticed before. The driver that got into five car accidents may have it too.

  7. The study may have limitations, but I do think it’s a game-changer.
    Think just ten years ahead. The guys who will be young stars (tomorrow’s Ezekiel Elliotts, Dak Prescotts, and Derek Carrs) are 14 years old now.

    Which means their parents need to decide whether they can play varsity football. I think a lot of parents are going to start saying no.

  8. He’s 30. He’s also a LEFT tackle which explains the big contract he just signed. Yes, there comes a time to get out while you still have a functioning brain. So you’re not literally a drooling idiot at 55.

  9. Its been proven that everyone that has lived has some sort of CTE just from being alive. No need to live life in bubble wrap. We all have to go sometime sooner or later – if I had the abilities to play NFL, I wouldn’t waste the chance.

  10. Well until they develop a way to screen for CTE in people who are still alive, players are gonna have to take these calculated risks. “Potential” brain damage or guaranteed millions?

  11. He needs to remember that alcohol destroys a lot more brain cells than CTE. Seems his off-field hobby is brewing the stuff.

  12. Douch poster on a lame website with a poor uneducated comment. Has friends if he’s lucky!
    kamthechancellor says:
    Aug 2, 2017 10:17 AM
    Soft player on a soft team with an overrated coach. 7-9 if they’re lucky.

  13. The players need to be informed about how these studies operate rather than just be fed attention grabbing headlines.

    The brains were donated, meaning someone had a reason to donate the brain. I doubt many family members thought of donation after their football playing husband, dad, whatever lived to 85 with no issues.

    That led to an inherent bias in the study.

    You could make a study about leprosy in the modern world sound shocking if all you relied on is people donating bodies of relatives that had major skin issues. Oh my god, 98 of the 100 bodies we tested had leprosy! Run for the hills and quarantine yourself!!

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