San Francisco 49ers were dealt a devastating blow today when it was announced that promising middle linebacker Chris Borland had retired at the young age of 24.
Borland was one of the most talented linebackers in the NFL, so much so that many in the 49ers' organization had tipped the linebacker to become a leader for San Francisco in the coming years.
When seven-time Pro Bowler Patrick Willis decided to retire last week, San Francisco were left with a huge void that some believed Chris Borland would still be able to fill - but now the 49ers are in chaos.
But Borland's decision to retire from the NFL due to brain injury fears is not only a terrible blow for the 49ers, with the NFL severely worried about the ramifications of his decision as well.
Furthermore, Chris Borland's decision to retire even compelled the NFL to make a statement.
"We respect Chris Borland's decision and we wish him all the best. Playing any sport is a personal decision," the NFL said in a statement.
But don't for one minute think the NFL was using their voice to congratulate a young player on retiring early. The league went straight on the offensive and detailed all the reasons why the NFL has never been safer.
"By any measure, football has never been safer and we continue to make progress with rule changes, safer tackling techniques at all levels of football, and better equipment, protocols and medical care for players," the NFL's statement read.
"Concussion in NFL games were down 25 percent last year, continuing a three-year downward trend. We continue to make significant investments in independent research to advance the science and understanding of these issues. We are seeing a growing culture of safety."