Baltimore Ravens Offensive Lineman Retires Following CTE Study

John Urschel, 26, abruptly announced he was leaving NFL on Thursday.

Offensive lineman John Urschel #64 of the Baltimore Ravens announced his early retirement following a CTE study.
Offensive lineman John Urschel #64 of the Baltimore Ravens announced his early retirement following a CTE study. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel abruptly announced his retirement from football on Thursday at the age of 26, ESPN reports. According to a team source, Urschel’s decision is linked to the results of a medical study published this week showing chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, in 99 percent of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to science.

“This morning John Urschel informed me of his decision to retire from football,” coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “We respect John and respect his decision. We appreciate his efforts over the past three years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Urschel, who has unique abilities in mathematics as well as football, has spoken in the past about the effects that a concussion he received in August 2015 had on his academic work in the offseason.

“I think it hurt my ability to think well mathematically,” Urschel reportedly said. “It took me about three weeks before I was football-ready. It took me a little bit longer before my high-level visualizations ability came back.”

Urschel, who is pursuing his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has reportedly published six peer-reviewed papers with three more ready for review. He was also named to Forbes “30 under 30” in the field of science.

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