Jarrod Cooper: My Fight with Head Injuries and My Decision To Retire

Today is the first day I've felt that I needed to talk about what's been going on with my personal medical condition. Every time I encounter a die-hard Raider fan I get the same question: "Why did you retire so abruptly?" I would always skate around the truth, but I am a fan of Raider Nation and I feel that you guys have the right to know.

At the beginning of the 2008 NFL season, I spent most of my time either in the training room or in bed with migraines. I had never had migraines before and didn't realize just how debilitating migraines can be.

The trainers didn't really know what was going on, but I had a sneaky suspension that there was damage to my head that I couldn't be reverse. The doctors relentlessly prescribed painkillers over and over but nothing worked. And at that time I decided to take a year off of football to get help with my headaches.

Head injuries in the NFL are nothing new, an as long as we love and play the game of football head injuries will always be there. Most if not all of Raider Nation knows Jarrod Cooper as a hit-you-in-the-face, back, legs, or any other part of your body that I can get a hold of, without even thinking twice about it. It is the way football is supposed to be played, period. Unfortunately, that comes with future consequences on your body. 

After several trips to different doctors' offices, I still have no comforting answers on my current condition whatsoever. I am getting diagnoses that are very scary, like frontal lobe dementia, degenerative brain disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which all are a direct result from multiple concussions. When words like that get thrown at you it's very hard not to think negatively about the outcome of your situation.

Two an a half years later the migraines have gotten worse and worse. They have gotten to the poin...

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