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Clinton Portis Joins Concussion Lawsuit Against NFL

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Clinton Portis, a former running back who has been honored as one of the 80 greatest Redskins of all-time, said in an interview earlier this year that he suffered more than 10 concussions during his nine-year NFL career.

Now, he has joined other former NFL players in a lawsuit against the league.

The suit, which was filed in a Florida District Court, says Portis “sustained mild traumatic brain injuries caused by concussive and sub-concussive impacts while playing in the NFL.”

Portis “was returned to play too soon after having sustained these concussions and subsequently suffered other head injuries or blows to the head…At no time did the NFL Defendants inform Plaintiff Portis that he risked severe and permanent brain damage by returning to play too soon after sustaining a concussion. The NFL Defendants’ failures were a substantial cause of his current injuries.”

The suit says the former athlete now suffers from headaches, and has a “heightened risk of
developing further adverse neurological symptoms in the future.”

Portis’s 2009 campaign was memorably cut short by severe concussion in a game against the Atlanta Falcons in which he lost consciousness. He only played five games after that.

The hit he took in the Falcons game, the most highly publicized of his career, landed him on injured reserve. But 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 earlier this year. “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.”

Also in that interview, Portis said he only suffers from “a few aches and pains, nothing major,” as a result of the concussions. “None of the, ‘I can’t stand up or walk’ stuff.”

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