Seth Joyner on CTE: ‘I Can't Tell You How Many Concussions I Probably Had'

Earlier this week, former Eagles running back Charlie Garner was back in the news for the reason we never want to see former football players in the news. 

Garner, 45, revealed to Sporting News that he has been suffering from CTE-like symptoms (see story), again bringing up the important discussion about the NFL that isn't going away. Concussions are a major problem for football and the league and there doesn't seem to be a clear solution. 

On this week's Quick Slants podcast, Eagles great Seth Joyner joined Reuben Frank and Derrick Gunn to talk about the topic. While Joyner and Garner were never teammates (Joyner's last season in Philly was 1993 and Garner's first was 1994), it's still a topic that hits home for Joyner. 

While Joyner said all his faculties are good, he, like many other former players, has been tested for CTE. 

"I went and got my test done because, hey, I played in a day where (former Eagles trainer) Otho Davis, God rest his soul, he was the greatest trainer in all of football, to me," Joyner said, "but the guy did tell me, 'Hey, take an aspirin and get back out there.'

"I can't tell you how many concussions I probably had and didn't really know what they were. In light of those things, God's blessed me. I'm not bad. My memory isn't what it used to be, but I'm also 52 years old. So maybe that has something to do with it. I'm not in denial from the standpoint that I'm not cognizant of little things that happen."

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Many others haven't been so lucky. Garner seems like one of those unlucky ones, along with Andre Waters and Kevin Turner. Waters took his life in 2006 and Turner died last year. Both had CTE. 

Joyner was a teammate of Waters' for eight seasons. 

"I feel for these guys, I really do," Joyner said. "Because at the end of the day, they gave everything they had to the game of football and still with a lot of life to live and they're facing these difficulties. It's kind of a catch-22 with me, because, to me, football is the greatest game of life, if you will, on Earth. And I love the game so much. My son plays. It's just really difficult for me to come to grips with the fact that ... I've always known that the human body is not constructed to play or to participate in these sorts of activities, but when you grow up playing it your entire life and it becomes a part of your being, it's kind of hard to see the path that this thing has taken."

Joyner, 52, dives pretty deep into the concussion issue -- and the whole thing is worth a listen -- when asked about how to balance the changes for safety and keeping the game like it was. He also weighs in on the trend of younger players' leaving the game early. 

He said he isn't worried about that trend continuing because "those guys never really loved the game of football."

"Listen, right now, right this instant," Joyner said, "if they had a pill that I could take that could take my body back to my 20s, even though I'm 50, I would go out and play right now. And the guys that love the game, they still feel that way."

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