With another NFL season underway, the concern over concussions is at an all time high. One former NFL great is doing what he can to understand the impact of head injuries on professional athletes. Leslie Mayes from our sister station, News 14 Carolina, has the story.
NATIONWIDE -- In the 70's and 80's he was known as “Joe D,” the NFL great who played in the league for 13 seasons, making a name for himself on the field with the Buffalo Bills.
Now retired, Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure is taking on a second act, trying to do more to understand the impact of head injuries on professional athletes.
“I want to be one of the first guys about concussions to make a difference in this country and really around the world,” DeLamielleure said.
DeLamielleure is taking part in a brain study to determine the long-term consequences of the repeated impacts and collisions football players endure while on the playing field.
He says many current and former players don't fully realize the risks.
“People say to me, 'Well you knew the risk when you went in.' No, we didn't know the risk. You knew you could break your arm, your leg, break your neck even. Nobody knew that you could get brain damage from this game” DeLamielleure said.
With several recent player tragedies that may have been linked to concussions, DeLamielleure said it’s time for the league to do something to prevent the injuries in the first place and treat players once they happen.
“Dave Duerson, Ray Easterling and Junior Seau, they shot themselves in the chest.
That I think is alarming. I think people should ask themselves the question, are we doing enough?” DeLamielleure said.