The issue of player health, and the long-term affects of playing professional football, has been thrown back into the headlines today after the alarming news that one former NFL quarterback attempted to take his own life on Tuesday.
According to reports, former Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions quarterback, Erik Kramer,50, was found with a gunshot wound in a motel room after what authorities are calling a failed suicide attempt. Fortunately the injury is said not to be life-threatening.
Kramer's ex-wife, speaking to NBC News, blamed his career in the NFL for his recent mental health issues - noting his issues with depression.
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"He is a very amazing man, a beautiful soul, but he has suffered depression since he was with the Bears," Marshawn Kramer explained today.
"I can promise you he is not the same man I married."
Ms. Kramer also revealed she has been told by a family member of the former QB that the gunshot injury is more serious that Los Angeles County officials have publicly stated.
In a career that spanned between in 1987 and continued through until 1999 Kramer threw for 15,337 yards and 92 touchdowns in the NFL. He took the Detroit Lions to the NFC Championship game in 1991.
Back in focus
This week's shocking incident though thrusts the issues of player health back into the limelight.
With a host of young players having walked away from the game this offseason citing health concerns as a big factor and, not to mention the ongoing lawsuit between ex-pros and the NFL demanding greater care in retirement, the lasting effects of playing such a tough game are one of football's major concerns at present.
The NFL is yet to comment on Erik Kramer's suicide attempt but it is yet another tragic sign that something has to be done to secure the well-being of those who put their bodies on the line to play in the NFL.
NFL fans: Should there be changes to the game to help protect those that play it, if so what should be done? Have your say in the comments below...