Clinton Portis: ‘Truth Is I Had A Lot Of Concussions’

by Chuck Carroll

LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Clinton Portis’ career concluded just as a hyper concussion-aware era was dawning in the NFL.

His 2009 campaign was cut short by severe concussion against the Atlanta Falcons in which he lost consciousness. It was a sour encore to the second Pro Bowl season of his career.

As it turns out, Portis would play in just five more games before the pro football chapter of his life would come to a close.

It’s ironic that the most most highly publicized hit of his career landed him on injured reserve. Prior to that, Portis says playing through concussions was a matter of routine.

“The truth is I had a lot of concussions,” Portis told Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com. “It was just the way things were at the time. I’d get hit hard and be woozy. I’d be dizzy. I’d take a play off and then go back in. Sometimes when I went back into the game, I still couldn’t see straight. This happened all the time. Sometimes once or twice a game.”

The running back, honored as one of the 80 greatest Redskins of all-time, says he suffered more than 10 concussions during his nine-year NFL career though he can’t put an exact number on it.

“I just know it was a lot. I stopped counting at some point,” he said.

Portis amassed 9,923 rushing yards and 75 touchdowns during a career that began with the Denver Broncos before carving a legacy in Washington.

For now, the 31-year-old seems to have escaped the heavy toll players are often taxed with for having a career in the NFL.

“I have a few aches and pains, nothing major,” he said.” None of the, ‘I can’t stand up or walk’ stuff.”

As for a comeback?

“No way,” he said, “I’m done. I’m staying retired. Life is too good.”

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