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NFL: John Abraham could retire amidst memory loss concerns after concussion

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John Abraham is one of the best pass rushers in the history of the NFL but it looks like the Arizona Cardinals star may have made the last of his 133.5 sacks.

It was reported that Abraham had left the team on Wednesday and according to ESPN's Adam Schefter the recent concussion suffered by Abraham during the Cardinals' 18-17 win against the San Diego Chargers could force him into retirement.

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Memory Loss

A league veteran, Abraham has made 196 appearances in the NFL since debuting for the New York Jets in 2000 and has received Pro Bowl honors on five occasions (most recently in 2013). But it has now emerged that the 36-year-old has been suffering from severe memory loss for the past year and this latest set back could be the final straw for both player, team and medical staff in order to preserve his health.

In his 14 years in the league John Abraham has amassed an astonishing 133.5 sacks during time at the Jets, Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals - a statistic that leaves him ninth on the NFL's all-time list and first amongst active players.

He has missed just two games in the past seven seasons but clearly the concussion suffered on Monday has led to a change of heart regarding the suitability of his taking to the field.

The Cardinals have placed him on leave for the time being and have re-signed linebacker Marcus Benard to fill the temporary roster exemption spot left by Abraham.

Off field issues

Abraham was in the news for the wrong reasons this summer having been arrested June 29 on a DUI charge. 

Police found the pass rusher asleep behind the wheel of his car in Georgia. He is set for an arraignment slated for October 10.

He spent three weeks away from training camp to attend a rehab facility in relation to the incident, returning August 14.

There is no suggestion as of yet that the off the field issues above are related to his memory loss problems.

Concussion continues to cause concerns

Paul Abraham, should he have played his final snap as an NFL player, will leave the game as one of its modern greats.

And whilst the news is devastating for both the player and the Cardinals roster, one positive to come out of it is that pressure will remain on the NFL to continue to address the ongoing issues stemming from impact head injuries and there long term consequences.

With the likes of Wes Welker and Eddie Lacy the most recent stars to be dealing with concussion injuries, and a lawsuit regarding compensation for former pros affected by it ongoing, there remains a need to find a solution to the problem.

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