DALLAS - Former Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett says he's reminded every day of the head injuries he suffered during his career.
He's one of 300 former players, including three members of the Pro football hall of fame, who are suing the NFL, its teams and in some cases, helmet maker Riddell.
I went to the brain institute of Dallas, Dorsett said. They put me on medication. I wanted second opinion so I went to my University, the University of Pittsburgh. They did a nuclear scan on my brain and found there are parts of my brain that's not getting enough oxygen. This is all football related. When you retire, you've got health insurance for a certain period of time and then it goes away.
Dorsett says he's had several surgeriessince 1999in an attempt to repair the nerve injuries.
I had to go in and have surgery, Dorsett said. They call it football trauma. The radial nerve was trapped inside my elbow. Then in '09, I had to do the same thing to my wrists, by right wrist. There's a lot of things that are going on, a lot of issues that ex-players have because of the game of football and all they're trying to do is get NFL to do the right thing -- and that's to man up.
Dorsett said the hardest hit he ever took was in a game against the Eagles in 1984. He's been retired for 24 years but every day is becoming more of a challenge.
Every day, every day is a challenge, Dorsett said. Sometimes it's more so. Just to remember names. You know, I ve been driving down the street sometimes and wondering where the heck am I going.
Dorsett and the players feel that more can be done now and in the future to help retired players deal with mental and physical problems they attribute to playing in the NFL.That's why they're filing suit. For now, the lawsuits are still in the initial, procedural stages.
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