Nine former players volunteer for CTE study in living patients

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An Arizona study looking for players to submit to a study that will detect Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy in living patients has found nine, so far. They’re looking for 191 more.

Former Pro Bowl tight end Steve Jordan and eight others provided blood, saliva, and urine samples on Wednesday. They also competed a 140-question form.

“If we can detect CTE in living patients, that’s going to be a huge win,” Jordan said, via Kent Somers of

The goal is to get 200 volunteers, none of whom will be paid for participating. The goal is to identify CTE biomarkers in bodily fluids, allowing the condition to be diagnosed without examining brain tissue.

Jordan, whose son, Cameron, plays for the Steelers, hopes that increased information will help the game become safer.

“You go to these meetings with former players, and the hope is we’ll be able to do something that will make it better for future players and our own kids,” Jordan said. “Most of us who are former players, we have kids who play or have played youth sports.”

The league surely fears that the ability to identify CTE in living players will be the tipping point that causes NFL, college, and high school players to abandon the sport. Which likely helps explain this week’s stunning decision to ban from the game the lowering of the helmet to initiate contact in any and all circumstances.

6 responses to “Nine former players volunteer for CTE study in living patients

  1. Let me guess. These 9 guys are experiencing weird symptoms, and suspect they may already have it?

    So are we going to see a study done where EVERY player shows signs of CTE, because guys without symptoms aren’t volunteering? Im genuinely curious.

    I would like to see the NFLPA agree to some rookies submit these very easily obtained samples, and see them participate in a study. Then some guys that have been in for 3-5 years, and then 10 year vets. All random, not symptom based.

    I know its a lot to ask these guys for blood and urine and 140 questions. But if they genuinely care about player safety, they should better understand the issue on every level of the spectrum.

  2. Again a complete witch hunt study. Why not any other professional athletes from contact sports (boxing, NHL, NBA, even soccer)??? I am guessing of all the people in the study just from the NFL, 100% of the people who are diagnosed will be from…. you guessed it, the NFL.
    Why not other football players? One study was at least fair enough to include youth, HS, college, CFL, & NFL players; which showed a progression of it but not a definite answer that it is only an NFL issue.
    I’ll sign up – played full out (open weight) from 10 to 21 & pretty rough in the trenches 7 on 7 flag leagues into my 30s. Why aren’t they looking at people like that?

  3. Wrong Cameron, wrong dad, wrong team: Cameron Jordan, Steve Jordan’s son, plays for the Saints; Cameron Heyward, Iron Head Heyward’s son, plays for the Steelers.

  4. I thought one had to be dead to get a confirmation of CTE. Makes me think this living patient thing will be biased or flawed. If they truly have a good way to test those that are living then great but I don’t trust it.

  5. They’re trying to figure this out – they’re not saying that they already have the tests to detect CTE in living players. I’m not sure why some people are so angry about stuff like this.

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