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Ed Reed on Junior Seau's trauma: 'He signed up to play football'

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Buffalo News senior columnist Jerry Sullivan asked a pointed question that created a major storyline at Super Bowl XLVII media day.

Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, an 11-year veteran, mentioned how a violent game has impacted his health.

"I feel effects from it," Reed said. "Some days, I wake up and I'm like, ‘Where did my memory go?’ But at the same time, I signed up for it.

"Football has been like that for a long time, for ages. Football has always been a contact sport, and it's always going to be a violent sport, and there are going to be repercussions from that. But every player that ever played this game and will play this game, they're signing up for it."

Sullivan asked Reed if legendary San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau signed up for it.

Seau, 43, committed suicide in May. An examination of Seau's brain showed he suffered trauma from repeated blows to the head. In a lawsuit against the NFL, Seau's family claimed he struggled with depression, insomnia and memory loss.

"Did he sign up for it?'' Reed replied. "Yeah, he signed up to play football. Things are going to happen.

"Do I want it to happen? No. When I was on a golf course, did I want to hear about Junior Seau? No, I didn't want to hear that. I grew up watching him play. That was a sad day, a sad day. And there have been many other guys that have been down that road that you didn't want to hear about because of football."


Super Bowl XLVII
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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 |

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 |

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 |