Fearing future head trauma, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland told ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Monday that he would retire from the NFL.
Borland said, in part, that he wants to do what’s best for his health, and that based on his experiences and research, the risk isn’t worth it. His choice to retire at the young age of 24, just one season into what looked like it would be a promising NFL career, surprised his team, the league, and fans. The 49ers took Borland in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft out of Wisconsin, and he was being groomed to take over the 49ers middle linebacker spot after veteran Patrick Willis announced his retirement last week, which was not related to concerns of head injury.
Is Borland’s retirement a sign of things to come in the NFL? Will we start to see more players retiring at younger ages because of concerns about head trauma? Is football safe enough or could the NFL do more to make players feel confident that they are safe when playing?
Matt Barrows, covers the 49ers for the Sacramento Bee. He has a blog on the team as well, which you can find at SacBee.com