37-year-old ex-NFL player says he's now bedridden for half his life
Jarrod Cooper played eight seasons in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders as a safety primarily known for his fearless work on special teams. Cooper played in the 2004 Super Bowl before signing with the Raiders, but before the 2008 season after he began to feel the effects of his lingering injuries.
Less than a decade later, Cooper says he now spends up to 18 days a month bedridden with symptoms of CTE, the brain disease that the NFL finally acknowledged last week is linked to football-related concussions head trauma. In a shocking interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Cooper says he once spent 33 consecutive days in bed, and has struggled with depressions and seizures.
Via the San Jose Mercury News:
Cooper's physicians determined that he likely suffers from CTE or frontal lobe dimentia, and he will donate his brain for medical research. Despite his current condition, Cooper says he'd still decide to play football professionally if he could go back in time and would even allow his children to play the game, but that there needs to be an emphasis on player safety.
Stories such as Cooper's are sadly emerging on seemingly a weekly basis. On Saturday, the wife of former Bufflao Bills linebacker Darryl Talley wrote a crushing blog post about her husband's worsening condition.