russell allenFormer Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen, whom the team released last week, revealed Tuesday that he is retiring from football after suffering a stroke during a game last season.

Allen told’s Robert Klemko that the incident occurred when he knocked helmets with Buffalo Bills center Evan Wood during a Week 15 loss.

Allen played the rest of the game and says he did not realize the severity of his injury until undergoing an MRI the following day.

“It was strange because it was so routine,” he said. “We hit, I got off the block, no big deal. I felt something flash — like they say when you get your bell rung. I didn’t lose consciousness. I walked back to the huddle and finished the drive.”

Tests revealed that a small, dime-sized portion of Allen’s cerebellum was “dead,” and doctors told him that remaining in the game could have made the consequences of the blow to the head much worse. The Jaguars shut Allen down for the remainder of the season after receiving the news.

“If I could go back in time I would do it differently,” Allen said. “Being in it and knowing how I felt in that moment, the game feels so serious. You’re thinking, I can’t come out, because what if someone else comes in and takes my job? Or they need me out there, and I can’t come out because I really want to win. But you can’t do that, and I learned that the hard way.”

Allen sent two tweets from his personal account after the article’s release, saying he chose to share his story so others will recognize the potential severity of head injuries.

Allen, 27, spent his entire five-year career with the Jaguars, playing in all but his final two games.

Photo via Twitter/@TealRising