The NFL has a bigger drug problem than Ray Lewis and his deer antler velvet extract.
It's the game of football itself.
The habit is so strong that players will literally risk life and limb for the opportunity to take the field and enjoy all the other trappings the sport brings.
Ed Reed is one of those junkies. The Baltimore Ravens all-star safety admitted Tuesday to suffering occasional memory loss from what he believes are a series of concussions. He has played with a painful nerve impingement for "the last six or seven years." Reed's recent performances and workouts to prepare for action are being hindered by a torn labrum in his shoulder from early in the 2012 season. Reed even pays out-of-pocket for weekly doctor visits just so he can stay off the sideline.
"It makes you think about your livelihood after football, how much you're going to have to spend to take care of your body, the toll that it puts on us," Reed said. "We age faster than everybody for what we do."