Lions defensive tackle Haloti Ngata took extra precautions before deciding to play football again, consulting a neurologist before returning to the team for another season, the Detroit News reports.
Ngata, a five-time All-Pro selection who is entering his 12th NFL season, says he wanted to be sure his brain was in good shape before continuing to play football. With concerns rising about concussions, head injuries and their long-term effects through football, better safe than sorry.
“I went and talked to a neurologist, wanted to make sure my head was good, all that,” Ngata said. “He said everything was pretty good, really good actually. I was like, ‘All right, I’m going to keep on playing.’ My wife was like, ‘I guess so.’
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“The brain is good,” Ngata said. “That’s what they said. The brain is good to go, keep on hitting.”
Ngata told reporters he could only recall having one concussion in his career, but intended to stay diligent. He said that as he’s gotten older, his improved technique has helped him preserve his body and use his head less.
“With all the things that going on with brain stuff throughout the league, you definitely keep an eye on it,” Ngata said. “You hear that stuff and you don’t want to have problems when you’re older. I want to be able to raise my kids and be able to play with them when they’re older and still be able to beat them in wrestling matches and stuff when they’re teenagers.”