Well, that didnâ€™t last long…the NFL career of Chris Borland that is. After one of the most promising rookie seasonâ€™s of any defensive player in the league, Borland has announced his retirement from the NFL according to a report by ESPNâ€™s Outside the Lines.
Breaking from @OTLonESPN: 49ers LB Chris Borland retiring b/c of concerns about long-term effects of head trauma: http://t.co/fUnFQYUZN5
— Chris Buckle (@chris_buckle) March 17, 2015
According to the report, Borland is retiring over concerns about the long-term affects of head trauma. Itâ€™s interesting because Borland isnâ€™t someone with a recent history of concussions or anything of that nature.
He has sustained two concussions in his life, but both were before he was even in college. One came while playing soccer in eighth grade and another while playing football in high school.
Borland told ESPN.com that he made the choice after consulting with doctors, concussion researchers and his family.
“I feel largely the same, as sharp as Iâ€™ve ever been,” said Borland, via ESPN.com. “For me, itâ€™s wanting to be proactive,” Borland said. “Iâ€™m concerned that if you wait till you have symptoms, itâ€™s too late. … There are a lot of unknowns. I canâ€™t claim that X will happen. I just want to live a long healthy life, and I donâ€™t want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise.”
With Borland leaving the NFL after such a promising start to his career, he easily becomes the most prominent player to leave the game in his prime. He also leaves San Francisco in an interesting position, having also lost Patrick Willis earlier this offseason due to retirement.
Heâ€™ll always be a legend for his career as a Badger, where he was named the Big Tenâ€™s defensive player of the year and linebacker of the year as a senior. He was a first-team All-American selection and recipient of multiple All-Big Ten honors.
Thereâ€™s no way to question a decision of anyone based on concerns over current or future health, and we look forward to seeing what Borland has in store for his future outside of playing the game of football.