Terry Bradshaw Shares Head Injury Struggles From NFL Career, Suffered Memory Loss and Depression


Apr 12, 2011

As the NFL continues to ramp up their player protection efforts, more and more former players are speaking out with their stories to support the league movement.

Legendary quarterback and Fox NFL analyst Terry Bradshaw spoke out about his own experience with head injuries on Tuesday, sharing his methods to prevent his brain from "getting worse than it is after suffering a career worth of concussions playing football.

"When I played for the Steelers and I got my bell rung, I'd take smelling salts and go right back out there. All of us did that," Bradshaw wrote. "We didn’t know any better. You don't know how many times I was in the huddle, asking my teammates to help me call a play. After a few minutes, I'd be fine and I'd keep playing just like nothing had happened."

Bradshaw wrote his own narrative on foxsports.com, describing the new activities that he's taking on to help his brain function, which has deteriorated due to his 14-year career in the NFL. Bradshaw writes that his hand-eye coordination is improving from rehab, doing such activities as brain puzzles and playing pingpong.

During his highly successful career, in which he won mutiple Super Bowls, Bradshaw believes he suffered six concussions and numerous other head injuries. Though he's spent many years working as an NFL analyst, Bradshaw had never revealed this much about his struggles with memory loss

Bradshaw is hoping his words will help today's players.

"Why did I go public? Well, I thought it would be good for a lot of players for this to get out, for me to tell my story because I was a quarterback," Bradshaw wrote. "I just thought it would be good for them to hear what I had to say. I also think other players should speak up and say what they've been experiencing. It's good for the soul and your brain."

Bradshaw mentions his recent short-term memory loss has led to anxiety and eventual depression.

"It was driving me crazy that I couldn't remember something that I studied the night before," he wrote. "All it did was trigger my anxiety and all of sudden everything would snowball on me."

The Steelers' legend also discussed the NFL's current stance on concussions, saying he believes the league is doing a good job with their recent efforts in concussion prevention, but the movement is "nowhere where it needs to be.

"I really think it is important for players to talk about what they are going through after their playing days are over," Bradshaw wrote. "The research, the talking is going to help someone else. I really believe that."

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