Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson told NFL Total Access on Sunday that he believes teammate Jahvid Best, who has not played a down since suffering a concussion in Oct. 2011, would not be wise to attempt a return to football.
“I just told him that if it was me I would shut it down,” Burleson said. “You’ve got so much more life to live, and even though I would love to have you on the field, I don’t want it to risk anything that has to do with your brain or possibly your post career.”
Best racked up over 2,500 yards in three seasons at the University of California, leading the Lions to draft him 30th overall in 2010. He played in all 16 games his rookie season but suffered a pair of concussions in 2011 — one in the preseason and one in October — and has been dealing with post-concussion symptoms ever since.
The ever-outspoken Burleson went on to say that Best had the tools to become “one of the best running backs to put on a Lions jersey” — high praise considering a guy named Barry Sanders used to play the position — but said that the permanent damage a another blow to the head could cause is not worth the risk.
“And just being a guy that loves him as an individual vs. him, as a player, I just told him, ‘Honestly I’d rather see you healthy at 65 than healthy at 25,'” the wideout added.
Best is still under contract with the Lions but has yet to be medically cleared to play.
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