March 28, 2016

Husain Abdullah, a free agent NFL safety, announced his retirement Monday, ESPN reports. The player cited health concerns as his top reason for the announcement after playing just seven seasons in the league.

"There are numerous deciding factors in my decision, with personal health being foremost. Sitting for five weeks last year after suffering the fifth concussion of my career, I had a lot to contemplate," Abdullah, 30, wrote in an Instagram post. "My goals moving forward are to be of benefit to my family, my community, my country and hopefully the world. Having a sound mind will be vital in accomplishing these goals."

A recent New York Times investigation found that the NFL is underreporting data on diagnosed concussions, a mounting health concern for players and their families. Julie Kliegman

March 24, 2016

A New York Times-led investigation into the National Football League's concussion research has found that more than 10 percent of diagnosed concussion cases in the NFL were omitted from the data, making it seem as though concussions occur less frequently than they actually do. The findings call into question the NFL committee's 13 peer-reviewed articles — said to be based on a full account of all diagnosed concussions from 1996 to 2000 — that claim that players do not suffer long-term damage from brain injuries.

Committee officials acknowledged the missing data and said that "the clubs were not required to submit their data and not every club did." They say expectations should have been made clearer, adding that the missing data was not "an attempt 'to alter or suppress the rate of concussions" and that the studies "never purported" to include all diagnosed concussions, The New York Times reports.

Read the full story over at The New York Times. Becca Stanek

March 14, 2016

During a roundtable discussion convened by the House Government and Commerce Committee on Monday, a senior NFL official acknowledged that there is a link between playing football and developing degenerative brain disease later in life.

The admission by Jeff Miller, executive vice president for health and safety policy, is believed to be the first of its kind from a senior NFL official, NBC News reports. The committee is investigating concussions in sports and the military, and Miller brought up research from Boston University's Dr. Ann McKee, which found that 87 out of 91 former NFL players tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Miller said while he's not a doctor, "Dr. McKee's research shows that a number of retired NFL players were diagnosed with CTE, so the answer to" the question of whether there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders "is certainly yes." CTE can only be diagnosed after death, and is believed to be caused by repeated head trauma.

NFL officials have previously said that football can cause concussions, but as recently as last month, a member of the NFL's neck, head, and spine committee denied during a Super Bowl event that there is a link between CTE and playing football. Catherine Garcia

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