Ex-Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice and Giants punter Steve Weatherford have promised to donate their brains to concussion research.
Rice, who played for the Vikings from 2007-2010 and retired in 2013, estimates he's suffered 15-20 concussions in his life. On Tuesday, he appeared with Weatherford on "Fox and Friends" to announce their commitment to science.
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"The first time I actually experienced a head trauma was when I was 8 years old," Rice explained. "I didn't know it was a concussion at the time but I was in a head-on collision with another kid coming around the corner and it was the first time I'd seen stars. I only thought that was in cartoons. But at that age you don't know to tell your parents, to tell the coach, so I went back in the game and continued to play."
The NFL's brain injury problems have spiked in recent years, and although the league has made rules changes to help decrease the number of concussions each season, the mystery of head injuries continues to plague the sport.
Rice decided to retire after winning the Super Bowl with the Seahawks in 2013. The driving force behind his decision to walk away from football was a television special featuring Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett, who, according to Reuters, suffers with memory loss which may be related to the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Dorsett told the Dallas Morning News last November that his memory loss is so bad at times that he can't find his way home just two blocks from where he lives.
Rice is only 28 years old.