Artie Burns is only in his second year in the league and he strongly believes he is suffering from a terrible disease that no current or former NFL player wants.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback and several other NFL players spoke to Sports Illustrated about the dangers of football and asked their thoughts on CTE and concussions, when Burns revealed some disturbing news.
When asked, “If a test to diagnose CTE existed, would you take it?” The 22-year-old stated there was no need for it because he already knows the answer.
“I definitely know I have it. I’m going to (test positive for) CTE. I don’t need a test,” Burns said, who’s in his second NFL season. “Is it going to tell me how much I have? We play a physical sport, man. Humans are not made to run into each other.”
Burns hasn’t missed a game in his two years in the league and has yet to be diagnosed with a concussion during his young career, but for him to say that he knows he has CTE at this stage of his career is extremely concerning.
CTE, of course, can’t be actually diagnosed in a living patient as of right now.
Here’s how the remaining players answered that same question.
KIRK COUSINS, Redskins QB: Yeah, sure. I think there are other guys who would say, “I’m going to play, regardless; CTE is not going to change the way I approach the game, so why would I want that hanging over my head?” I’m in a different position as a QB. My head’s not getting hit every play. There are things I can do to avoid that—slide, get out of bounds . . . .
TAHIR WHITEHEAD, Lions OLB: For sure. I think it would be a good idea to make it a part of youth football and to have people get periodically checked.
RYAN KALIL, Panthers C: If there was a test, yeah. But knowing that I have CTE—or that I don’t—wouldn’t be enough.
CHRIS LONG, Eagles DE: I would take it—but I would also be very careful not to assign, like, predictable behavior to my results. I don’t believe it’s a slam dunk that if you have CTE you’re going to “lose it.” We’re probably the last generation that will have no idea what’s going on [in our brains]. I think the next generation is really going to know a lot.
DION JORDAN, Seahawks DE: No. Not right now.