Ed Reed wouldn't have wanted to know if he had CTE during NFL career

Ed Reed has some potentially controversial thoughts on the topic of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

During a "60 Minutes" segment titled "Football and the Brain" that aired Sunday, the retired NFL safety discussed the three or four concussions he could remember during his 13-year career with correspondent Steve Kroft. When asked if he would have been willing to undergo tests during his career that could diagnose CTE in living players, the nine-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion said no.

"If they're going to give me this test and this test is going to be a negative towards me as a player and I gotta go home now and I can't play this game anymore, no," Reed said. "I don't wanna know till after. I don't wanna know until when I'm retired. No guy would want that. No player would want it."

Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University told PBS's Frontline in September that 96 percent of deceased NFL players and 79 percent of all football players they studied exhibited CTE. The study had examined brain tissue of 165 individuals who played football in high school or college as well as at the professional and semi-pro levels.

Despite a number of former players being diagnosed with the degenerative brain disease after repeated blows to the head, Reed chooses to see the positive outcomes as a result of his successful career and claims he wouldn't change a thing if he could do it all over again.

"Now that I know the dangers? Yes, I still would do it again," Reed said. "Why? 'Cause look at me. Look at my family. They're able to eat, they're able to have food and shelter over their head. Would I play football again? Yes."

Although CTE can only be diagnosed after death, Robert Stern, director of clinical research for the BU CTE Center, told Kroft that he believes a test to identify the disease while the individual is alive could be available in the next five to 10 years.

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus