Found April 17, 2012 on
Fox Sports Detroit:
ALLEN PARK, Mich. Former NFL players are piling on when it comes to lawsuits against the league for the head injuries they sustained during the course of their careers.
Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola doesnt plan to be part of that litigation one day.
When Im at home in my rocking chair at 40, I dont think Im going to be thinking about suing the NFL, Raiola, 33, said Tuesday following one of the teams off-season workouts. I dont know if I can justify suing the league when Im done because its given me 11 years of fun. Thats their prerogative (to sue). Thats how theyre handling it.
I think when you sign up for this job, you know what youre getting into. Granted, the moneys a lot more now. At the same time, youre going to get dinged up.
Raiola said he accepts any potential side effects he encounters down the road.
Whether its short-term memory loss, those are all the rigors of this job, he said. Thats why its not for everybody. It takes a unique individual to play this.
I have so much fun playing this game, I really dont worry about it (head injuries). Those things are going to come. Its common knowledge that people are going to suffer. Memory loss is going to come. Youre hitting every time you step on the field.
Is it really worth it in the end?
Its totally worth it, Raiola said. This is the best job in the world. I wouldnt trade it for anything.
I have fun every time I step on the field. I think thats what its all about.
Lions receiver Nate Burleson, a nine-year veteran, took a different approach on the lawsuit issue.
I dont want to cross that out right now, he said smiling. I guess Ill cross that bridge when I need to. Right now, Im good. Ive had a couple (concussions) in the league. That isnt a concern right now while Im playing.
Some of those things (lawsuits) are just. This is a violent sport. After guys get done playing, they have a lot of issues health-wise. Hopefully, the NFL will honor what they said they would and take care of us.
Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Lions representative for the NFL Players Association, said he has, incredibly, never sustained a concussion in 11 years in the league.
Ive never had headaches from football, he added. I guess I consider myself lucky.
Still, hes concerned about the long-term factors for all players.
In the last couple of years, theres been a tremendous amount of progress, Vanden Bosch said. The reason for our shortened off-season, the reason for our changes in training camp, the reason for the changes in the rules in the regular season as far as padded practices , all thats because of head injuries and concussions and brain trauma.
The NFL and the NFLPA are working on it. The two sides are starting to understand that you can limit those collisions and the banging and you can still have quality football and you can still get better as a team and you can still give the fans a product that they expect.
The NFL schedule is expected to be released Tuesday, possibly around 7 p.m. to coincide with a program airing on the NFL Network.
Feels like a lot of prime time games for us, Lions president Tom Lewand wrote in a message on Twitter Tuesday morning.
The Lions appeared on one Monday Night game and one Sunday night game last season, plus the annual Thanksgiving Day appearance.
Despite the so-called Madden Cover Jinx, Burleson said hes still voting for teammate Calvin Johnson in a contest to determine whose photo will be shown on the front of the video game.
Numerous players, including Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis last year, have been injured after appearing on the cover.
Im going to vote for him, Burleson said of Johnson, one of four semifinalists in the voting. I would love to see my guy on the cover of Madden. Im a big Madden fan.
"I do believe in the curse. But theres certain curses that can be erased with the dollar sign.
If any guy can break the curse, its Calvin. This dude is a monster. Hes strong enough to break tackles. He can break a curse.
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