Former Viking Gary Larsen: 'Couldn't count' number of concussions


With the news coming yesterday that Vikings tight end John Carlson will consider retirement after his most recent concussion, more concerning news came from former Vikings defensive tackle Gary Larsen.

Larsen, a member of the "Purple People Eater" squads of the late '60's and early '70's, had some revealing and worrisome quotes regarding the past treatment of concussions in the NFL and his current state from those head injuries.

Via Deadspin: "When we played you got hit and you were groggy and you went over to the sideline and sat down, and you would get an ammonia capsule snapped under your nose. You'd take a few hits of that and go back in and play. I look back and I don't know how many concussions I had. I probably couldn't count them...My wife says I'm forgetful and can't remember anything, but I guess that's part of the game also."

Larsen was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and recorded 38.5 sacks as a member of the Purple, and was named as a member of the 50 greatest Vikings two seasons ago.

Larsen is the most recent in a long line of NFL players that have spoken out about lasting effects of concussions, including former Viking Brett Favre, who has admitted to not remembering some things after retiring just three years ago.

Earlier this year, the NFL settled a concussion lawsuit brought by former players for $765 million, though it has been stalled by judicial intervention.

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