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An NFL rookie is retiring at 24 because the 'next hit could kill me'

Adrian Coxson has decided to call it a day before even playing a single snap.

Adrian Coxson has decided that football is not worth the risk.
Adrian Coxson has decided that football is not worth the risk.
Image: Morry Gash/AP/Press Association Images

ADRIAN COXSON, A a 24-year-old rookie wide receiver, is retiring from professional football after suffering a severe concussion on the third day of Packers training camp.

“I’m retiring because I’m still having symptoms and my health is more important to me than the game of football,” Coxson told the National Football Post.

“It’s been recommended to me by two neurologists and two doctors to retire from football. The next hit to my head could possibly kill me or be life-damaging. This last one could be life-damaging. It has taken a great toll on me.”

Coxson joins former 49ers linebacker Chris Borland as the second 24-year-old to retire because of the threat of serious injury. The move will most likely draw more attention to the issue of long-term health consequences in football as the result of repeated head trauma.

He is the fifth player overall to retire from the NFL this offseason at the age of 30 or younger.

Coxson was an undrafted free agent out of Stony Brook College who signed a three-year deal with the Packers. On August 1, Coxson was taken off the Packers’ practice field in an ambulance and later found to have a Grade 3 concussion, the most severe grade of concussion, ESPN reports.

The rookie was cut by the Packers on August 17 but eventually reached an injury settlement with the team in addition to the $5,000 signing bonus he received, according to ESPN.

Coxson, who graduated with a degree in business and African-American studies, said leaving the NFL was tough but he still did not feel completely healthy.

“It’s definitely tough. I worked hard all my life and I felt I was achieving my life-long goal,” Coxson told the National Football Post.

“Unfortunately, I got hit in the head in practice and it was really bad for me. I couldn’t describe how bad it is. I’m blessed to have my life right now. I’ll see how things work out as far as my health, but my health isn’t in tip-top shape right now because of the concussion.”

On 30 July — two days before suffering his career-ending concussion — Coxson published an article in the Players Tribune detailing his road to the NFL, a journey that was nearly derailed multiple times while Coxson took care of his dying father.

“I think about my father every time I step on the field. This is what he wanted, and as long as I have the opportunity to play this game, I won’t take one second of it for granted,” Coxson wrote. “Don’t worry, Dad. I won’t. I’ll make you proud.”

- Matthew Speiser, Business Insider.

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