Cincinnati Bengals great Boomer Esiason: ‘All football players probably have’ CTE

Bengals training camp at Wilmington College. Boomer Esiason blows bubbles while throwing. 7-25-1990
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Bengals training camp at Wilmington College. Boomer Esiason blows bubbles while throwing. 7-25-1990

Cincinnati Bengals great Boomer Esiason made a frank admission on his nationally syndicated New York City radio show Monday.

"If I died tomorrow and my brain basically was taken and researched and I was found to have CTE, which most likely I have," he said, adding, "Because I think all football players probably have it."

CTE is a degenerative brain condition that has been found in many former athletes, including nearly all former football players in the results of a study published two weeks ago, who played sports in which hits to the head are common. Members of the military are also among those considered to be at an increased risk.

The study only involved brains that were voluntarily donated.

Esiason also told co-host Craig Carton, who is not a former professional athlete, he would not doubt Carton has at least some degree of CTE from playing soccer and other recreational activities.

Carton noted he had once hit his head while snowboarding.

"I wouldn't doubt that you would have some form of it as well, but we don't have all the answers," Esiason said. "The thing I appreciate more than anything… the more we learn about our brains, the better it is for the guys who are playing today."

"The good news for the guys who are playing today, especially the guys who are playing for a long period of time, is they get paid a hell of a lot more money than we did. They have much better benefits and retirement benefits than we do."

Currently, CTE cannot be detected until after a person’s death when the brain can be cut up and studied, and researchers have found it effects various people in different ways (some more than others).

On the same day Esiason made his statement, Ohio State offensive linemen Billy Price and Jamarco Jones were asked their thoughts on the subject.

Both said it is “alarming” but indicated an understanding there are certain risks involved in playing a violent game like football.

READ MORE: Buckeyes talk about CTE concerns

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Ohio State offensive linemen Billy Price and Jamarco Jones talk about the issue of CTE in college and professional football.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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