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Monday, February 25, 2008

He retired at 34: Concussions in football receiver Wayne Chrebet

At age 34, Wayne Chrebet retired from his football career with the New York Jets because of post-concussion syndrome, after suffering at least six concussions. He sometimes had returned to games in which he had been knocked unconscious. He was the third star pass receiver on the New York Jets to retire because of post-concussion syndrome, along with Laveranues Coles and Al Toon.

Wayne has recently acknowledged he has bouts of depression and memory problems so severe that he cannot make the routine drive from his home in New Jersey to his restaurant in Long Island without a global positioning system.

The Jets' team physician has drawn criticism because he is both the leader of the National Football League’s commission on concussions and because under his care, three of his team's star receivers have had multiple concussions that ended their careers and left them with permanent disabilities. The team physician's desire to both help his team win and care for the players' health poses an innate conflict of interest.

Advice to parents of football players: Make sure you get your son's family physician to independently verify the team physician's clearance for him to resume play.

Browse for related stories in the index at the very bottom of this page, or read another football story.

Thanks to Alan Schwarz for the source story in the NY Times of Dec. 22.

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