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Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure says he wouldn't play football again

By Jay Skurski

Given the choice, Joe DeLamielleure says he wouldn't play football again.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame member and former linchpin of the Buffalo Bills' famed "Electric Company" offensive line, DeLamielleure makes that telling statement in an interview with Matt Crossman of the Sporting News, as part of an exhaustive five-part series on concussions in the NFL.

"If I could see a picture of this when I was 28, and somebody said, 'Here's you sitting with a reporter at 61 with a card donating your brain to science because all the guys are messed up, would you still play?' " he asks Crossman in the article. "No."

DeLamielleure goes on to say he's convinced he has chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a type of brain damage that's been found in 18 of 19 former NFL players whose brains have been studied by Boston University‚Äôs Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. CTE can't be diagnosed until after a person has died and an autopsy has been performed -- DeLamielleure has donated his brain to be studied after his death.

DeLamielleure -- who has long been outspoken against the league for its treament of former players -- also says he's battled depression, anger and short-term memory loss.

DeLamielleure isn't the only Hall of Famer to say he wouldn't play football again knowing what he knows now -- former Giants linebacker Harry Carson tells Crossman the same thing.

It's a significant admission when Hall of Fame members talk about giving up their careers if they had the choice, but one that many more former players would not be willing to make, as the survey shows.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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