Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Notebook: Borland Retires, Fears Head Trauma

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Notebook: Borland Retires, Fears Head Trauma

Article excerpt

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland is leaving football, and the promise of NFL stardom and piles of money could not change his mind.

He was worried about head trauma.

And now at age 24, after one stellar rookie season, he is retiring.

The 49ers announced his decision Monday night, without offering specifics. But Borland told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" earlier in the day he wants to do "what's best for my health."

Borland had a team-leading 108 tackles as a rookie, emerging as a punishing defender. He also had a sack and two interceptions.

"From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk," Borland said in the interview. "I feel largely the same, as sharp as I've ever been. For me, it's wanting to be proactive. I'm concerned that if you wait till you have symptoms, it's too late."

49ers general manager Trent Baalke said the team was surprised by his move and called Borland a "consummate professional."

Borland's big announcement comes less than a week after five- time All Pro linebacker Patrick Willis walked away from football. Borland replaced Willis in the starting lineup after his October toe injury required surgery.

The dual retirements are big blows to a team that has also lost coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio after the season, then watched Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox depart in free agency this past week. Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was promoted to head coach following an 8-8 season, the club's first time out of the playoffs in four years.

"While unexpected, we certainly respect Chris' decision," Baalke said. "From speaking with Chris, it was evident that he had put a great deal of thought into this decision. He was a consummate professional from day one and a very well-respected member of our team and community.

"Chris is a determined young man that overcame long odds in his journey to the NFL and we are confident he will use the same approach to become very successful in his future endeavors. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.