A group consisting of almost half of the Super Bowl-winning players from the New England Patriots’ early 2000’s roster reported brain injuries.
While the Cleveland Browns were dominating the NFL news cycle by putting together trade after trade for some big names on Friday and Saturday, some bigger-picture information came out in the long fight for NFL players regarding brain injuries and CTE.
We’ve seen plenty of players report cases of CTE and sue the league and helmet companies as the main cause for the issue. However, a long list of players from one of the greatest NFL dynasties of all time added their own experiences in a lawsuit against the NFL and Riddell, the league’s helmet-making company until 2014.
According to a report from the Boston Globe, nearly half of the Patriots on the rosters that won three out of four Super Bowls in the early 2000’s reported brain injuries from their time on the field.
This isn’t the first time the Patriots have entered the CTE conversation, as it became a hot topic surrounding the death of Aaron Hernandez after he committed suicide in prison. However, this group indicates a huge trend, and could add some more mainstream attention to the whole situation.
The Patriots have long been one of the dominant teams in the NFL, and year in and year out they seem to make it to the Super Bowl with whoever they throw onto the field. The scary part is no one ever really knows where some of their best players disappear to, and no one ever asks because the team succeeds no matter who’s playing.
The Boston Globe put in some mind-boggling statistics and facts in the report, with one sticking out saying just three players — Tom Brady, Adam Vinatieri and Ben Watson — still remain in the NFL after all of this time. All three are either in their forties or close to entering them, and plenty of talent much younger than those three added their names to the list in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was an important one before this information came out, evident by the $1 billion it took from the league to settle the lawsuit last year. It’ll be an important one for years to come, and it would’ve been just as important if the long list of Patriots wasn’t public.
However, the issue of CTE in football is a serious, mainstream one that needs to continue to have eyes on it, and having one of the best teams in football’s history affected in such a big way by CTE could have a huge impact on the future of the sport.