GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers was planning on watching the same thing he watches every Tuesday night – game film of his upcoming opponent.
So that’s at least one reason why the Green Bay Packers quarterback was looking at the Baltimore Ravens defense and wasn’t tuning into PBS for the documentary “League of Denial” on Frontline, which focused on the NFL’s history with brain trauma. The episode was based on the work of ESPN investigative reporters Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada in their forthcoming book by the same name.
But Rodgers, who suffered a pair of concussions during the 2010 season, the second of which caused him to miss a December game against New England just before the Packers’ run to the Super Bowl XLV title took off, said he knows what he’s getting himself into by being an NFL quarterback and chooses to do it anyway. The league’s highest-paid player has said before that the concussions he suffered gave him pause about his long-term health, and that if he felt he were putting himself in serious jeopardy,
“I will not be watching,” Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com. “Tuesday night is a night of film. So I’ll be busy. But … I know the risk that I take when I step on the field. I’m risking future health and future mental health. I understand that, future physical health.
“I mean, there are a lot of things that can happen to us on the field. But I love playing football. I know the risks I take when I step on the field. I think we all do as professional athletes. I’m more than happy to take those risks because I love to play, I love to entertain, I love to be around the guys. And I love being part of something special.”
Last November, in the wake of three prominent quarterbacks – Chicago’s Jay Cutler, Philadelphia’s Michael Vick and then-San Francisco’s Alex Smith – all suffering concussions on the same weekend, Rodgers said roughly the same thing.
If you missed the two-hour documentary on Tuesday night, you can watch it on the Frontline website.
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