NFL Player John Urschel Is Subtracting Football From His Life And Taking On A New Career

A recent study may have contributed to his decision.

For John Urschel, continuing a career in the NFL was an equation he didn't want to solve.

The Baltimore Ravens' offensive lineman announced his retirement after three years via Twitter on July 27, stating there was "no big story" to this news and would "appreciate the right to privacy."

But despite his request for privacy, Urschel still had news to share. In the fall, he plans to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, better known as MIT, to pursue a doctorate degree in mathematics. He also announced that he's also preparing for fatherhood as his fiancé is pregnant and due in December.

Urschel's announcement came just two days after The New York Times published a story about a study that links NFL players' brains to CTE –– short for chronic traumatic encephalopathy –– a degenerative disease that is "believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head." CTE causes symptoms such as dementia, memory loss, confusion, and depression that can show up years after these blows to the head have stopped. A neuropathologist conducted the study and tested 111 brains of players from every position on the field that died from ages 23 to 89. And 110 out of the 111 brains had CTE.

The case hits close to home for Urschel, who suffered a concussion in August 2015. According to ESPN, it happened after he was knocked unconscious from colliding with another player's helmet on the field.

"I think it hurt my ability to think well mathematically," he said. "It took me about three weeks before I was football-ready. It took me a little bit longer before my high-level visualizations ability came back."

Although he's leaving the football field for good, people reacted positively to the news:

He even got a shout out from the Mathematical Association of America:

No matter the reason, it's good to see athletes embracing not only the things their bodies contribute to the world but also their minds.

(H/T: Bleacher Report)

Cover image: Instagram


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